With a game in hand and trailing the Boston Bruins by 3 points, the Ottawa Senators can really use this game as they are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. See who we like as our betting pick.
Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m.ET at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Currently, the NHL odds list the Senators as a -111 betting favorite due to home ice advantage and the total for the game is 5.5 goals.
It's unconfirmed as of now, but Braden Holtby is expected in net for the Capitals and Andrew Hammond is expected between the pipes for the Senators.
Although in limited action, Hammond is an eye-popping 16-1-1 with a 1.80 GAA. His only loss coming against the Rangers. The Senators must have this game and are facing the best goal-scorer in the NHL in Alex Ovechkin. This is the perfect guy to have in net and at home. Will Hammond be up to the test? Thus far, he's been nearly perfect with a .940 SV%..
For the Caps, Holtby has been a one man show with 39 wins to his credit. For the season, he carries a 2.23 GAA and a very respectable save percentage. This game has the appearance of a dog fight as both teams can definitely use the 2 points as the season draws to a close.
Ovechkin vs. Hammond
How can anyone think of this game other than an Alex Ovechkin vs. Andrew Hammond matchup? Ovechkin was nearing the 50 goal mark and got that achievement out of the way as he raced right past it in the last ferw games.
For the season, Ovechkin has 52 goals.In his last 3 games, he has 5 goals and 1 assist. His constant pressure in the offensive end and shooting efficiency has made him an unstoppable force. This is a guy with 474 career goals in 756 games. Can Hammond stop him or keep him to the minimum will be the key to Ottawa winning this game and keeping their faint playoff hopes alive?
A Collective Effort
The Senators don't have anyone that stands out like an Alex Ovechkin. They play as a collective unit and with great goaltending. This has made them a successful squad.
Lately, Mark Stone has been a consistent source of offense as he's on a 4 game point streak with 2 goals and 3 assists. Stone is also a +15, which is 2nd on the Senators. I don't want to give you the wrong impression. This is a team with 6 players with 43 points or more.
Center, Kyle Turris, is another player to focus on. He's coming off of a 2 assist game in an overtime win over Tampa Bay. Along with 1 goal and 4 assists in his last 5 games, Turris has a goal to his credit in 2 meetings against the Caps.
Both of these teams need this game, but Ottawa is on the brink of elimination, playing at home, and have a goalie that's been nearly perfect. If there was a game that he could crack, it could be this one, but I'm still siding with the Senators at these very appealing betting odds for my NHL picks.
NHL Pick- Ottawa Senators -111 at 5Dimes