Washington Capitals vs. Detroit Red Wings Matchup Preview

Squaring off for the third and final time this season, the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings clash at Little Caesars Arena for an Eastern Conference matchup. The action will get started at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 22, and you can catch the game live on NBC Sports Network.

Washington Capitals at Detroit Red Wings Odds

Washington (-165) is currently favored over Detroit (+145) and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals (-115 for the over, -105 for the under).

Washington is 42-31 straight up (SU) and has earned 6.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 73 regular season outings, 42 of its games have gone over the total, while 30 have gone under and just one has pushed. As an away team in 2017-18, the Caps are 16-20 SU.

Washington has converted on 22.7 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s good enough for fifth-best in the NHL. Its penalty kill is ranked 21st overall, and the team’s successfully killed off 79.6 percent of its penalties.

Washington, as a collective unit, has been sent to the penalty box 4.1 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, and 2.8 per game over its last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties 8.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 27.5 saves per game with a .906 save percentage, Braden Holtby (31-19-4) has been the primary option in goal for Washington this season. If head coach Barry Trotz chooses to rest him, however, the team may roll with Philipp Grubauer (11-19-3 record, .922 save percentage, 2.37 goals against average).

Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov will both lead the way for the visiting Capitals. Ovechkin has 81 points on 44 goals and 37 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 21 different games. Kuznetsov has 21 goals and 50 assists to his nameand has notched a point in 42 games.

On the other bench, Detroit is 27-46 straight up (SU) and has lost 16.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. 42 of its games have gone under the total, while 29 have gone over and just two have pushed. It’s 14-22 SU at home this season.

Detroit has converted on just 17.6 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that places it in the bottom 10 overall among NHL teams. Its penalty kill is also ranked 23rd overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.8 percent of all penalties.

Detroit players have been sent to the penalty box 3.7 times per game in total this season, and 4.4 per game over their last five contests. The team has had to defend opponent power plays just 6.4 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

Jimmy Howard (26.7 saves per game) has been the primary choice in goal for Detroit. Howard has 19 wins, 35 losses, and eight overtime losses and has recorded a poor .909 save percentage and 2.89 goals against average this year.

Dylan Larkin (11 goals, 42 assists) will pace the offensive counter for the Wings.

Washington Capitals at Detroit Red Wings Betting Predictions

Free Pick: SU Winner – Red Wings, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone over in three of Detroit’s last five outings.
  • Extra-man opportunities could prove to be even more key than usual tonight. The Capitals are 14-8 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 23-15 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Red Wings are 9-15 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 19-30 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Detroit is 5-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Washington is 3-1 in shootouts.
  • Detroit is ranked 23rd in the league this season with 6.3 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended down, however, as it has managed 4.6 takeaways over its last 10 games and 3.6 takeaways over its last five.
  • Washington has averaged 4.8 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.1 takeaways per game (ranked 16th in the NHL).
  • Washington could hold the upper hand if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s an impressive 18-12 in one-goal games, while Detroit is only 10-22 in such games.