Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Matchup

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Washington Capitals at PPG Paints Arena in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. This one gets started at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, May 7 and it’ll be broadcasted live on NBC Sports Network.

Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins Odds

Pittsburgh (-185) is currently the favorite over Washington (+160) and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-130 for the over, +110 for the under).

Washington is 56-37 straight up (SU) and has earned 12.9 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 93 regular season contests, 52 of its games have gone over the total, while 39 have gone under and just two have pushed. The Caps are 25-21 SU on the road in 2017-18.

The Capitals offense attempted 29.5 shots per game in the regular season, leading to 3.2 goals per contest (ranked ninth overall in the NHL). In the playoffs, the club is climbed to an average of 33.1 shots on goal ( 3.7 goals per game).

Following a regular season where they scored on 23.9 percent of all power-play opportunities (the seventh-strongest), the Capitals have been able to score on 31.7 percent of their extra-man advantages in the postseason. Their penalty kill’s gone from 80.1 percent in the regular season to 78.6 percent in the playoffs.

With a .910 save percentage and 27.5 saves per game, Braden Holtby (41-23-5) has been the top option in goal for Washington this year. If Washington chooses to rest him, however, they could go with Philipp Grubauer (15-22-5 record, .919 save percentage, 2.47 goals against average).

The visiting Capitals have relied on Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov this season. Ovechkin has 101 points on 57 goals and 44 assists, and has recorded two or more points 30 times. Kuznetsov has 33 goals and 63 assists to his nameand has logged a point in 56 games.

Pittsburgh is 53-40 straight up (SU) and has recorded -4.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. 51 of its contests have gone over the total, while 37 have gone under and just five have pushed. It’s 32-14 SU at home this year.

The Penguins currently have the first-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as they’ve converted on 25.7 percent of their extra-man advantages this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.3 percent of all penalties.

Penguins players have been sent to the penalty box 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 8.2 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Matt Murray has denied 25.8 shots per game as the primary option in goal for the Penguins. Murray has 35 wins, 25 losses, and three OT losses and has registered a subpar .906 save percentage and 2.84 goals against average this season.

The home team will be led on offense by Sidney Crosby (38 goals, 71 assists).

Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Free Picks

Pick: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Five of Washington’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 4-1 in those games.
  • Power plays and penalty kills may play a key role tonight. The Capitals are 16-12 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 30-19 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total. The Penguins are 25-14 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 33-23 in games where their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Pittsburgh is 2-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Washington is 3-1 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone under in three of Pittsburgh’s last five games.
  • Pittsburgh has averaged 9.8 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 9.0 giveaways per game (ranked 12th overall).
  • Washington skaters have averaged 6.0 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 10.7 giveaways per game (ranked 25th).
  • The Penguins this season have tallied the sixth-most hits in the NHL (24.5 per game), but the teams averaged 32.0 over their last five home games.