Crosby and Pens Beat Ovie and Caps in Another Wild One

Jimmy Murphy

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 6:20 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 6:20 PM UTC

In their second meeting of the season already, the Penguins will once again get the best of their archrivals in another wild one at Capital One Arena. Take the Pens and the over.

Murphy: 26-20-2

Pittsburgh (6-4-3, 6-7 ATS) at Washington (6-4-3, 6-7 ATS)Wednesday 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)Free NHL Picks: Penguins ML; OverBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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In their second meeting of the season already, the Penguins will once again get the best of their archrivals in another wild one at Capital One Arena. Take the Pens and the over.

These two archrivals come into this tilt with the same record and points (6-4-3, 15 pts), still trying to find traction in their game and the standings. The defending Stanley Cup Champions have appeared sluggish at times and have yet to win two straight games this season. They had an impressive 4-2 win over Connor McDavid and the Oilers Monday night so could that propel them into their first win streak of the 2018-19 season?

The read here is no and not just because of the mediocre season they’re having, but because Sidney Crosby and the Penguins seem to treat every game against Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals as a playoff game and with the implications this game has in the standings right now, it almost is. Yes it’s only November, but we are getting into that period where teams start to really show who they are and give their general managers a clearer picture of what their teams need. The Penguins clearly need defense as they have given up 5 goals or more in 3 of their last 4 games. That likely won’t change in this game and both goalies could be in for a long night as they were the last time the two teams met, in a 7-6 overtime win for the Penguins.

Getting back to why, despite each team having very similar issues and the exact same record, the Penguins get the edge here, it’s urgency. This is a team that was bounced from the Capitals in the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs and who right now, need to prove to themselves and their critics that they are still a Stanley Cup contender. Amazingly, the Penguins came into the season at +1100 to hoist the Cup again and remain there over at BetOnline despite their subpar start. That could change though if their rivals beat them on national TV Wednesday and they spiral down the standings. Meanwhile, the Capitals are the defending champs and the lee-way is a bit stronger for them because of that. They came into the season at +1400 to defend their title and are now +1600. That may be worth a future for you because the Capitals had a slow start last season and didn’t turn it on until it mattered most.

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Sidney Crosby's backhands only tour across Canada 2018 pic.twitter.com/yB6dIEvWjt

— Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) October 28, 2018
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The Pens come into this game 6-7 against the spread and 4-2 on the road. Pittsburgh has scored 46 goals and allowed 45. They’re 5-6-2 on the over/under and 3-3-0 on the road. The Penguins are 4-9 on the puck line and 3-3 on the road.

Evgeni Malkin leads the team in points (20), assists (13) and is tied for the team lead in goals with Phil Kessel as each have lit the lamp 7 times. Crosby has 6 goals and 8 assists. Kris Letang leads the Pittsburgh blueline with 4 goals and 8 assists.

The Capitals are 6-7 against the spread and 4-3 at home. Washington has scored 50 goals and allowed 49. They’re 9-2-2 on the over/under and 5-1-1 at home. The Caps are 6-7 on the puck line and 3-4 at home.

Evgeny Kuznetsov (6g, 12a) leads the team in points with 18. Ovechkin (11g, 6a) leads the team in goals with 11 and Nicklas Backstrom (3g, 13a) leads the team in assists with 13 helpers. John Carlson leads the Washington blue line with 5 goals and 11 assists.

Goaltending Match-Up
  • For the visiting Penguins, Matt Murray is 4-4-0-1 with a 3.87 GAA and .886 save percentage.
  • Backup Casey DeSmith is 2-0-0-2 with a 2.25 GAA and .932 save percentage.
  • For the Capitals, Braden Holtby is 4-3-0-2 with a 3.62 GAA and .888 save percentage.
  • Backup Pheonix Copley is 2-1-0-1 with a 3.14 GAA and .898 save percentage.
M*A*S*H Report
  • For the Penguins, forward Derick Brassard is day-to-day with a lower body injury and defenseman Justin Schultz is out indefinitely with a leg injury.
  • For the Capitals, defenseman Brooks Orpik is day-to-day with a lower body injury.
  • Forward Tom Wilson is suspended.

Prediction: Pens 5 Caps 4 (SO)

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