Capitals To Send Another Message Vs. Blackhawks

Dana Lane

Friday, January 13, 2017 6:59 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 6:59 PM UTC

Can the Capitals snap another Blackhawks winning streak Friday night at the Verizon Center? Chicago comes in on a four-game run, but our handicapper leans the favored home side.

2016-2017 NHL Season Record: 45-37 (+15.27 Units)

I don't ever like to lay larger prices, Thursday night there wasn't much doubt that the Dallas Stars were the right side.  Sure enough, Dallas handed the Red Wings a 5-2 loss.  My followers ran to cash their tickets.  Sometimes you don't always have to look for the smallest favorite on the board just because you don't want to lay -150.  I'm not encouraging -200 plays, but at -150 we would only have to win two games to overcome the game if it lost. 

Friday, we head to the Verizon Center in D.C. for the NHL's marquee matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals.  The best NHL betting line we can find is -150 for Washington.

It's an easy choice to bet the Capitals if you've watched them through their seven-game win streak. True, the Hawks always have to give you reason to pause, but Barry Trotz's team is playing at a different level against the best the NHL has to offer. 

Goaltender Braden Holtby is stronger this season than he was last year because the Capitals have the luxury of having to be prepared every night.  Last season, Washington had such a large lead in its division that it didn't force them to always be in playoff mode. Holtby was chasing Martin Brodeur's record games won mark, causing him to play a lot more down the stretch than Trotz would have preferred.  This season, Holtby is much more rested and sharper, which his numbers reflect at 20-8-4, 1.90 GAA and and a .932 save percentage. 

Even though there is no doubting that his numbers were amazing last season, I think the way the Capitals have had to battle in the Metropolitan Division along with Trotz not having to worry about Holtby chasing a record has made this team stronger.

Holtby is one of the league's hottest netminders, allowing just three goals in his last four games. He is 5-2, 2.55 GAA vs Chicago lifetime. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is just 5-5 lifetime vs. Washington with a high GAA of 3.25. 

NHL Free Pick: Capitals -150Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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