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Sunday NHL Betting Preview - Penguins at Capitals

Capitals Host Penguins for NBC Sunday Rivalry Rematch!

Since 2005, the Pittsburgh Penguins with Sidney Crosby and the Washington Capitals with Alex Ovechkin have made for one of the best rivalries in sports. Furthermore, both players and their teams have given us the highest quality hockey. Not to mention three of the last four Stanley Cup championships. Once again both teams should be playoff bound.

The Capitals have been in a recent free fall that has seen them drop from first to fourth in the Eastern Conference, while the resurgent Penguins have won six of their last nine to climb to third in the East. The Capitals host the Penguins on NBC Sunday in the renewal of a top rivalry and a potential playoff preview.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals
Date and Time: Sunday, February 23, 2020, Noon ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
NHL Betting Online Odds at FanDuel: Washington -130, Total 6.5
Penguins vs. Capitals TV Coverage: NBC

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals Odds Overview

Betting action should be relatively even for this game. Hockey wagering has a greater element of sharps that understand the quality of both teams. Also understood is that the Penguins may well offer superior wagering value as a top shelf quality road dog at a better price.

Pittsburgh Penguins Current Form

Pittsburgh is 37-16-6 with only 27 of their games going over the total. The Penguins have NHL metrics of sixth for goal scoring, eighth for power play, sixth for goals against and sixth for penalty killing.

Washington Capitals Current Form

Washington is 37-17-6 with overall metrics of fourth for goal scoring, 14th for power play, 15th for goals against and fourth for penalty killing. Just 22 of the Caps 58 games have gone under the total.

Penguins to Watch

The Penguins center ice combination of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby remains strong. Malkin leads the Pens with 18 goals, 40 assists and a +9 while Crosby has 12 goals, 28 assists, and a -2. Both have battled through injuries this season. Right winger Bryan Rust is in the midst of a breakout season with a career high 23 goals and 25 assists with a whopping +16. Additionally, defenseman Kris Letang remains in the NHL’s elite class with 14 goals, 26 assists and a +5.

Capitals to Watch

Naturally “The Great Eight,” left winger Alex Ovechkin, will dominate eyeballs for this one. Part of the Capitals slump may be in line with Ovechkin’s recent quest to hit the 700-mark for career goals. The NHL’s greatest goal scorer of the modern era has 31 goals, 17 assists but a -14. That minus number sticks out like a sore thumb as it reminds many of the Caps old sloppy ways prior to their 2018 Stanley Cup title. Defenseman John Carlson is the counter to Pittsburgh’s Letang on the blue line with 15 goals, 55 assists, and a +13. Carlson is a superb power play quarterback with 22 assists on the man advantage.

Between the Pipes

Washington’s Braden Holtby was in goal for the Stanley Cup run two years ago but has been inconsistent this year. Holtby has marks of 21-13-5, 3.14 goals against average and .896 save percentage. Backup Ilya Samsonov has a much better save percentage of .917. Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry are splitting time for the Pens. Murray is their Cup winning goalie with numbers at 17-8-5, 2.80 goals against average, .903 save percentage, and one shutout. Jarry has been even better with a mark of 20-8-1, 2.13 goals against average, .931 save percentage and three shutouts.

Penguins and Capitals Against the Pointspread

Pittsburgh has won the last three games in this series, including the most recent meeting, 4-3 on February 2 at Washington. The Penguins have won their last two visits to the Capital One Arena with seven of the last nine between these teams at Washington going under the total.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Game Selection

We should be treated to near playoff quality hockey in this one but the fact remains the Caps are slipping back into their old irresponsible ways. Pittsburgh is in good form and playing a full 200-foot game with superior goaltending to Washington. The Caps have the look of their Stanley Cup hangover season of 2018-19.

Penguins vs. Capitals Score Prediction: Penguins 3, Capitals 2

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