Wednesday 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Free NHL Pick: Capitals ML; Over
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
Penguins-Caps, Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby on national TV. We’ve seen this feature NHL production 47 times and it never gets old!
These two generational superstars never disappoint in the starring role either as in 47 games played against the Caps, Crosby has 21 goals and 45 assists, while in 54 games against the Pens, Ovechkin has 35 goals and 23 assists. Crosby rides into this latest chapter of the new storied rivalry between Pittsburgh and Washington, with 4 assists in his last 3 games and Ovechkin comes in on a scoring rampage, registering at least a point in 17-straight games. During that span, the Great 8 has lit the lamp 17 times (including hat tricks in 2-straight games last week) and helping to set up 6 Capitals goals. He was also named NHL player of the week again. Ovie is on pace for over 60 goals this season and he’ll keep that pace going in this latest showdown with Sid and the Penguins to help his team to their 6th straight win, improving to 2-0-1 against their hated rivals this season.
So far this season, Washington has scored 122 goals and allowed 100. They’re 19-10-3 on the over/under and 9-5-2 at home. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh comes in having scored 112 and allowed 108. They’re 15-13-5 on the over/under and 7-7-1 on the road. With both teams a combined 34-23-8 on the over/under, this game has plenty of over potential adding some solid extra value. Yes, the Caps and Pens went under in their last game, a 2-1 win for the Capitals in Washington on November 7, but they combined for 13 goals on October 4 in a 7-6 overtime victory for the Penguins in Pittsburgh. I’d expect a repeat of that first tilt as Sid does his best to get the Pens back in the playoff race and Ovie keeps rolling.
The Capitals are 20-12 against the spread and 10-6 at home. Washington is 17-15 on the puck line and 7-9 at home. Ovie leads the Caps in goals with 29 lamplighters and points with 43. Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson are tied for the team lead in assists with 30 helpers each.
The Penguins are 15-18 against the spread and 6-9 on the road. Pittsburgh is 12-21 on the puck line and 5-10 on the road. Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel are tied for the most points with 36. Crosby leads the team in goals with 15 lamplighters and Malkin leads in assists with 25 helpers.
- For the Penguins, Casey DeSmith is 10-6-0-4 with a 2.49 GAA and .923 save percentage.
- Matt Murray is 5-5-0-1 with a 3.95 GAA and .883 save percentage.
- For the Capitals, Braden Holtby is 13-7-0-2 with a 2.90 GAA and .910 save percentage.
- Pheonix Copley is 7-2-0-1 with a 2.93 GAA and .902 save percentage.
- For the Penguins, Patric Hornqvist is out again with an upper body injury and hasn’t played since December 6. He’s day-to-day. Dominik Simon (lower-body) and Justin Schultz (leg) are on injured reserve.
- For the Capitals, forward Christian Djoos is out indefinitely with a leg injury and defenseman Brooks Orpik (knee) is now dat-to-day.
Prediction: Capitals 5 Penguins 4 (OT)