NHL Betting: Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins Pick

Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals moves the puck up ice

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 9:47 PM GMT

Sports handicapper Ian Cameron provides an NHL Early Lines Report for the hockey card taking place on Thursday, October 13. The defending champions will face the Washington Capitals, and there is value in backing the road favorite for your NHL pick.

Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

The Washington Capitals will look to earn a small measure of revenge against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first regular season game for both teams and the first meeting since Pittsburgh ended Washington's season with a 4-3 OT win in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. The Pittsburgh Penguins got red hot in the playoffs last season with a tremendously fast, talented and deep team and a surging young goalie in Matt Murray who was fantastic in net and led the team to a Stanley Cup title. However, it will be somewhat of a different looking Penguins team hitting the ice to open the season on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby suffered a concussion during training camp and is out for at least this game. The Penguins are also minus goalie Matt Murray for the first few weeks of the season after he had a broken hand injury in the World Cup Of Hockey and that means displaced former starter in net Marc-Andre Fleury will get the nod for Pittsburgh in between the pipes in this game against Washington.

The Capitals once again have a team capable of winning the Eastern Conference and the Stanley Cup once again with the core of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams up front. The Capitals have pretty much the same blue line as last season which should lead to good continuity on the back end along with Braden Holtby in net who has emerged into one of the best goalies in the NHL. The last time the Capitals played a meaningful NHL game was in Game 6 of the second round against Pittsburgh right here in this building--a 4-3 Overtime loss which ended Washington's season.

I expect Washington to be highly motivated to spoil the party for the defending champions and I'll back the Capitals, for my NHL pick, as a small road favorite to get the victory. Don't forget to check out SBR's Sportsbook Rating Guide so that you know where the best places to bet are!

Free NHL Pick: Washington -110

Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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