NHL Picks: Capitals Home Dominance Will Continue Against Kings

Dana Lane

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 1:27 PM GMT

The Washington Capitals (40-10-4 84pts) return home to face the Los Angeles Kings (33-19-1 67 pts) who continue their long road trip. Who will be our NHL pick tonight?

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2862147, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
NHL Pick: Washington -134
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Kings vs. Capitals
Much is being made about the Washington Capitals, Mike Richards, facing his former team but to bettors it's really not relevant so don't get caught up in the story to justify why Richards and the Caps may be more motivated. 

What you should be focused on is the best team in hockey. The Capitals have won five of their last six games with the only loss being to Dallas on the road.

Capitals, Alex Ovechkin, has a streak of 18 goals in 19 games. Seven have come on the power play. The most offensively gifted player in the league is locked in which spells trouble for Jhonas Enroth and the Kings considering they've allowed a power play goals in five straight games.  

More good news is expected for the Caps as they anticipate the possible return of veteran defensemen, Brooks Orpik who missed 40 games with a lower body injury. It's up to Orpik to make the call. If he does play he will be paired on the third line defense. He won't light the lamp much but he's a terrific two way defensemen.  The rich get richer. 

The difference between this years Capitals team and past teams is they are not trying to ride Ovechkin to the Cup. They now have a terrific group of young talent that are interchangeable and still consistently produce no matter what position they're asked to play. Sprinkle in seasoned vets and you have a team that has left the rest of the league behind. 

In their last eight games the Kings have alternated wins and losses eight times. That tells me that they are motivated by losing but may be a little tired in the middle of a grinding road trip. Offensively you can't you never know what you're going to get with the Kings. They scored 20 goals in their three wins, including nine at Boston and just four in their three losses. 

We have yet to see how the loss of Marian Gaborik will play out. Gaborik left in the first period against the Rangers with a lower body injury. He was sent back to Los Angeles for further evaluation. He doesn't bring a lot in the scoring column but the 34 year old brings those veteran intangibles. 

I don't expect to see Jonathan Quick in goal for the Kings tonight. Quick has sat out the last three games with a lower body injury.   
An interesting trend sees the Kings as losers of their last five games on only five days rest. You also have to factor in this current road trip as fatigue may start to creep in. It seems simple but having the Caps at home has continued to be a solid investment as they have won 43 of their last 60 home games. The home team in this series has won four of the last five meetings. We're backing Washington with our NHL picks in this one, where they are favorites in the NHL odds boards.