The Washington Capitals aim to tie their NHL betting playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, which the latter currently lead 3-2. The Caps pulled within one game with a 4-2 win on Saturday. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin scored 27 seconds apart in the third period to make good on Washington’s home ice advantage. Andre Burakovsky and Nicklas Backstrom also scored for the Caps, while Braden Holtby made 20 saves. The Pens led by one goal twice but could not hold on to either lead.
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: PPG Paints Arena
Sportsbook odds for fans who bet on hockey:
Capitals +1½ (-310) 5½ (EV) -105
Penguins -1½ (+255) 5½ (-120) -115
Recent form: The Capitals have won two of the last three games in this series. Moreover, they have won six of their last eight on the road but only one of their last seven visits to the Penguins. Washington has won game 6 in four of the last five postseason series when down 2-3 (the exception being game 6 of last season’s playoffs, when they were eliminated by none other than Pittsburgh).
News: Head coach Barry Trotz’s tinkering with the formation paid dividends on Saturday. Trotz moved Ovechkin to a unit with Lars Eller and Tom Wilson, and shifted Burakovsky to the left side of the line with Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. As a result, the Capitals scored more than two goals at five-on-five for the first time this series.
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Caps’ focus has been on winning but certainly not on covering; they are 1-11 against the spread in the last 12 games overall and 0-5 ATS in the last five on the road. The NHL betting total has gone under in five of the Capitals’ last seven overall – ditto for their last seven road games.
Recent form: The Pens have won seven of their last 10 games and six of their last seven at home. Furthermore, they have prevailed in four of their last two meetings with the Caps. Pittsburgh has won nine of the last 10 games following a loss.
News: The silver lining for the Penguins is that Sidney Crosby returned from as concussion on Saturday. Crosby had his 96th assists in the playoff to tie Mario Lemieux’s franchise record. “We’ve got to do a better job executing, especially with the lead,” Crosby said following game 5. “Like I said, we had some chances there. I think if we can hold onto the puck in there end a little bit more, we should get more shots. I think we’ll generate a little bit more from that. Just being a little bit better in the offensive zone.”
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Penguins have been more proficient when it comes to covering, going 5-1 against the spread in the last six games, 5-0 ATS in the last five at home, and 4-2 ATS in the last six times hosting the Caps. The NHL betting total has gone under in six of the Pens’ last seven games at PPG Paints Arena.