Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Free Preview

The Washington Capitals at Nationwide Arena in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the matchup, which gets going at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 17.

Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds

Washington (+120) is playing the role of underdog to Columbus (-140), and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).

Washington is 49-35 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 7.8 units this year. Through 84 regular season outings, 48 of its games have gone over the total, while 34 have gone under and just two have pushed. This 2017-18 Capitals team is 21-20 SU on the road.

The Capitals’ offense attempted 29.4 shots per game in the regular season, leading to 3.2 goals per outing (ranked ninth overall in the NHL). In the playoffs, the team is up to an average of 44.0 shots on goal (while being up to 3.5 goals per game).

After sporting the seventh-strongest power-play unit in the regular season (scoring on 23.3 percent of all opportunities), the Capitals have connected on 38.5 percent of their extra-man advantages in the early stages of this postseason.

Averaging 27.3 saves per game with a .907 save percentage, Braden Holtby (34-21-5) has been the primary option in goal for Washington this season. If it decides to give him a rest, however, Washington could go with Philipp Grubauer (15-22-5), who has a .919 save percentage and 2.47 goals against average this year.

Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov will both be relied on to produce for the visiting Capitals. Ovechkin has 89 points on 51 goals and 38 assists, and has recorded multiple points 24 times. Kuznetsov has 29 goals and 56 assists to his name (and has registered at least one point in 51 games).

On the other side of the rink, Columbus is 47-37 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 2.8 units this season. Through 84 regular season matches, 43 of its games have gone over the total, while 40 have gone under and just one has pushed. It’s 26-15 SU at home this year.

The Blue Jackets have converted on just 18.1 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that places them in the bottom 10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 27th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 75.2 percent of all opponent power plays.

Blue Jackets skaters have been penalized only 3.1 times per game in total this season, and 5.2 per game over their last five games. The team’s had to kill penalties a whopping 14.2 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Sergei Bobrovsky has stopped 28.6 shots per game as the top netminder in goal for the Blue Jackets. Bobrovsky has 39 wins, 28 losses, and six overtime losses to his name and has registered a 2.44 goals against average and a .921 save percentage this season.

Artemi Panarin (28 goals, 59 assists) will lead the attack for the Jackets.

Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Predictions

Free Pick: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Four of Columbus’ last ten outings have been decided by two or more goals. The club is 3-1 overall in those games.
  • Penalties and power plays may be extremely important in this game. The Capitals are 16-12 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 28-18 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Blue Jackets are 20-17 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 39-29 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Columbus is 6-4 in games decided by a shootout this season while Washington is 3-1 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone over in each of Columbus’ last five outings.
  • Columbus skaters have averaged 6.4 giveaways per game (the 4th-fewest in the league).
  • Washington has averaged 6.6 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 10.8 giveaways per game (ranked 25th in the NHL).