NHL Picks for Hurricanes vs. Capitals: Tonight's Rivalry to Go 'Under'

David Lawrence

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 11:27 AM GMT

The Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes are former Southeast Division rivals. On Tuesday, they’ll match up in a contest featuring two teams heading in opposite directions. The Canes are a big road dog on the NHL betting lines.

The Carolina Hurricanes Can Win Because…
They’ve shown a bit of a pulse in their last three games. Although the Hurricanes had lost nine of 11 to start the month of March, they’ve shown some moxie in their latest few contests. They beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 last Thursday, then beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1 on Saturday and then lost in overtime to the Boston Bruins on Sunday. And even before that, they lost to the New York Rangers in a shootout and fought the Chicago Blackhawks tooth and nail in a 3-1 loss.

Sure, things aren’t right for the Hurricanes and the season hasn’t gone the way they had hoped. And for the most part, they are just playing out the string of games until the season ends. However, they’ve shown some life in recent outings and that could be enough to warrant consideration against a Capitals team that is laying a ton of juice on the NHL betting odds in this spot.

So far, this season series has seen the Caps win two of the three games but their two wins have been decided by one goal with one coming in overtime. These are two former rivals and this game could be closer than expected.

 

The Washington Capitals Can Win Because…
The Hurricanes have all but tapped out on the season. Carolina has basically mailed it in during the month of March and have been sinking to new lows in the standings. When they wake up on Tuesday, they’ll have the third-fewest points in the Eastern Conference, which is quite atrocious. They’ve lost 10 of 14 this month and have completely come unglued. The Canes are giving up the seventh-most goals in the NHL this month (2.86) and scoring the seventh-fewest (2.29). That about sums it up.

As for Washington, they’ve played reasonably well of late, having won four of their last six games. Goaltender Braden Holtby has been strong in net for the Caps as he’s 15-10-1 since the All-Star break with solid peripheral numbers. He has a 2.13 GAA in that span along with a .927 save percentage.

The Caps have plenty to play for as they fight for playoff position while the Canes are done. With motivation on Washington’s side, they’re the better choice here.

Find more NHL action with these three NHL picks for Tuesday!

Outlook
There’s a lot of juice to lay here and for the most part, it’s warranted. However, I’m not all too interested in laying it or laying the puck line with the Capitals – especially since they haven’t beaten the Hurricanes by more than a goal yet this season (in three matchups). Instead, I’ll go under the number with my NHL picks. The Canes have played over five goals just once in their last nine. As for the Caps, Holtby has a 1.54 GAA and .955 save percentage versus Carolina this season, so we’ll look for a low scoring game.

NHL Pick: Under at The Greek