Pittsburgh is an understandable favorite with the NHL Playoff lines. Back to back Stanley Cup titles does much for the brand. Star captain Sidney Crosby is respected as one of the best in the game. Goaltender Matt Murray has compiled an excellent playoff record. Washington has the opposite problem. Great regular seasons have been undermined by playoff failures. The Caps have often been Stanley Cup chalks in their own right. But years of post season failure have been a perpetual blemish. Pittsburgh has eliminated Washington eight straight times in the playoffs. That’s a stark image contrast.
Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 4
Date and Time: Thursday, May 3, 2018, 7 p.m. ET
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
NHL Betting Online Odds at SBG:
|Capitals||+1½ (-215)||6 (-105)|
|Penguins||-1½ (+178)||6 (-115)|
Capitals vs. Penguins TV Coverage: NBCSN
Series so Far
Washington scored a big 4-3 win at Pittsburgh in game three. The Caps now hold a 2-1 series lead. If they can win Thursday they will have a chance to clinch the series on home ice. Game five of this series will be at Washington Saturday. Game six with the NHL playoff lines would be at Pittsburgh. If game seven is needed it will be in the nation’s capital.
Sidney Crosby and Team
Sidney Crosby continues to show why he is still considered by many to be the best in the NHL. Sid the Kid has eight goals, 11 assists with a plus 11 so far in post season. Crosby brings the added element of being a strong captain. He commands the complete respect of every teammate. Fellow Pittsburgh center Jake Guentzel has eight goals, 11 assists with a plus 11. Top defenseman Kris Letang has two goals and seven assists. Matt Murray has slipped to a .906 save percentage. Murray had a hot first round but has cooled off considerably.
Alex Ovechkin leads the Caps
Left wing Alex Ovechkin leads the Caps in post season with eight goals and five assists. “The Great Eight” is team captain. He has inspired with his determined play. Center Niklas Backstrom has three goals and nine assists. Defenseman John Carlson has two goals and eight assists. Goaltender Braden Holtby was benched to start the playoffs. But he was called off the bench to save the season. Washington rallied from 0-2 down to beat Columbus 4-2 in the first round. Holtby has a .925 playoff save percentage. His goals against average is 2.08.
Crosby and Ovechkin
Crosby and Ovechkin entered the league together in 2005-06. They saved their respective franchises in short order. Crosby has three Stanley Cups. Ovechkin has none. This has grated at Ovechkin. Crosby also gets far better press as the “Good Canadian Boy.”
Team vs. Team
These teams have split their last eight sportsbook matchups. Six of the last seven in this series have gone under the total. PPG Paints Arena has seen the Pens win eight of their last 12 vs. the Caps. Just three of the last 12 between these teams at Pittsburgh went under the total.
Matchup to Watch
This is where the rubber meets the road for the Caps. And that has constantly meant failure with the NHL Playoff lines. Pittsburgh should recover with a strong effort. They know a loss puts them in serious jeopardy.
Capitals vs. Penguins NHL Playoff Lines Picks
Pittsburgh will use home ice to even the series.
NHL Betting Online Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins.
NHL Betting Online Score Prediction: Penguins 4, Capitals 2