Another win or go home scenario for the Capitals, unfortunately, NHL analyst Dana Lane says this is the end of the road for the Caps in a high scoring match-up.
Let's start with what some might call the silly stat of the day but it could be relevant when you think about the psychology behind it. The combined ‘over’ when both the Penguins and Capitals play on a Monday is 11-2-4 in their last 17 games. Take it for what it is but we all know how we feel on Monday’s after a big weekend, I'm assuming the energy level will be a little less than it was Saturday in Washington. A lethargic frame of mind usually results in sloppy play which leads to offensive chances. I don’t put all my handicapping into one stat but its something to consider.
A couple injury notes to consider for tonight’s game as that always plays a big role in betting ‘totals’.
For the Penguins, Head Coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that defensemen Ryan Dumoulin will play tonight after he took a maintenance day off yesterday. That will keep the top D-pairing intact with Ron Hainsey. Trevor Daley will be out which means that Justin Schultz will likely move up in the second pairing. Not a major move but anytime you move defensemen around I like to look at ‘overs’ especially against high octane offenses.
Speaking of high-octane offenses, it appears that the Washington Capitals have finally found a way to get to Marc-Andre Fleury. The Capitals are as healthy as you can get this time of year. In game five the Capitals scored four goals on 32 shots handing Fleury his worst night of the postseason. It was the first time Washington gave the Penguins some pause on their way to the third round of the postseason.
Even with the slight delay, the Penguins will win this series but with the Capitals finding some offensive success and Pittsburgh moving defensemen around, the ‘over’ is the right side in this one and, hey, it's Monday.