Washington Capitals at Vegas Golden Knights Free Preview

T-Mobile Arena plays host to an East-versus-West clash as the first-year Vegas Golden Knights square off against the Washington Capitals. The match gets started at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 23, and it’s being shown live on NBC Sports Washington.

Washington Capitals at Vegas Golden Knights Odds

Vegas is 22-11 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 15.1 units this season. Among the teams 33 games this season, 21 have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and just two have pushed. This season, the teams 14-3 SU at home.

The Golden Knights have converted on 20.9 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s good enough for 10th-best in the NHL. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 22nd overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 79.0 percent of all penalties.

The Golden Knights, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties just 3.5 times per game overall this season, 3.2 per game over their last five matchups total, and 3.0 per game over their last five home outings. The teams had to kill penalties for just 6.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, in total.

Averaging 23.9 saves per game with a .872 save percentage, Maxime Lagace (7-7-1) has been the primary option in goal for the Knights this season. If Vegas chooses to give him a rest, however, the team may go with Malcolm Subban (9-2-2 record, .922 save percentage, 2.30 goals against average).

The Knights will continue relying on leadership from Jonathan Marchessault and James Neal. Marchessault (31 points) has produced 12 goals and 19 assists and has recorded multiple points in nine different games this year. Neal has 17 goals and 10 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 18 games.

On the other side of the rink, Washington is 22-14 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 7.0 units this year. A total of 20 of its contests have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and none have pushed. As a road team so far, the Capitals are 8-9 SU.

The Capitals have converted on 19.8 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 23rd overall and it’s successfully defended 78.6 percent of all penalties.

Washington’s players have been whistled for penalties 4.4 times per game in total this season, and 3.8 per game over their last five road outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays 9.6 minutes per game over their last five road outings.

Braden Holtby (28.4 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Washington. Holtby has 20 wins and seven losses to his credit, and has registered a .919 save percentage and 2.64 goals against average this year.

Evgeny Kuznetsov (12 goals, 26 assists) has been one of the top playmakers on offense for the visiting Capitals.

Washington Capitals at Vegas Golden Knights Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Golden Knights, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Six of Washington’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 5-1 in those games.
  • Penalties and power plays could play a key role in tonight’s matchup. The Capitals are 8-1 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 12-5 when they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total. The Golden Knights are 10-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 14-8 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Washington is 2-0 in games decided by a shootout this season while Vegas is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • Vegas has allowed 3.0 goals per game overall this year, but has given up only 2.0 per contest over its three-game winning streak.
  • Vegas is ranked 18th this season with 10.0 giveaways per game. That figure has improved, however, as it’s averaged 8.9 giveaways over its last 10 games and 8.4 giveaways over its last five.
  • Washington skaters have averaged 11.4 giveaways over its last five home games, right in line with its season average of 11.7 giveaways per game (ranked 25th).