Free NHL Picks: Seize The Opportunity & Back Capitals Against Penguins

Dana Lane

Sunday, March 20, 2016 5:24 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 20, 2016 5:24 PM UTC

The Capitals are moving towards home ice during the entire 2016 playoffs and the pre-assumed Presidents Trophy.  They face the Pittsburgh Penguins. See inside for NHL pick.

Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
It's been seven years since the Washington capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins met in an epic playoff battle but we might not have to wait too much longer for another.  The Penguins have won five straight games but with a loss today they could fall closer to the Detroit Redwings who own the last playoff spot but are only three points behind Pittsburgh.  I don't love awarding a point to the loser in an overtime situation or shootout but the point system has provided us with playoff intrigue. Without it, Tampa would be the Atlantic leader but I digress.  

The Capitals have plenty more to prove, mostly to themselves as they've been gliding along this month.  Before their four goal trouncing of the Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators, Washington had only outscored their opponent 40-39 which included a uncharacteristic two game losing streak on their West Cost trip.  The Caps have 12 games left and every night teams will be looking to send a message. Fortunately for them only two of their next five games are against playoff teams with only tonight's game against the Pens and next Saturday against the Blues which isn't a conference match-up.  You could make a case that this will require the most focus of any of the upcoming games for Washington.

We have seen Capitals Head Coach, Barry Trotz, move some pieces around to perhaps get an idea of different line combinations that he could potentially use in the playoffs which could have led to some of the Capitals down grade in play but the Capitals depth is their greatest asset.  We need not look any further than Evgeny Kuznetsov who is a second line center.  He leads the Capitals in scoring with 73 points while posting a +33.  Walk down the street and ask the average person who the Caps most valuable player is and every would say Alexander Ovechkin or Braden Holtby but Kuznetsov should be the guy who is getting MVP consideration. Evgeny has a five game point streak heading into this one.  


Betting Analysis
In order for anyone to have success against the Capitals they must have an effective power play unit.  The Penguins certainly have the weapons to be effective but their recent 0-9 slid doesn't breed confidence in me.  

When digging for trends relating to the capitals you never have to dig very far.  The Capitals simplest trend that is the only one that you should consider is simply 39-13 in their last 52 games.  With that comes the rare opportunity to receive some value with the Caps.  This line started at -124 on the NHL odds boards and now can be found at -111 at 5Dimes. The best  NHL pick is to go with the better team in this one regardless of them having to go on the road to do so.  @DanaLaneSports.

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NHL Pick: Washington -110
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


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