The Washington Capitals are one goal NHL live betting favorites against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but whether that hypothetical score will come by way of Niklas Backstrom is another matter entirely. The Caps center is stuck in the worst dry spell of his career, going pointless in seven straight games. Similarly, teammate T.J. Oshie hasn’t scored in the last eight games. “I realize that I’ve got to be better and I’ve got to create more chances, produce and be one of the leading guys on the team,” Backstrom said. “I’ve just got to find a way.”
- Date: Friday, 10th November
- Time: 7:05 PM
- Venue: Capital One Arena
- Online sportsbook NHL hockey betting lines:
Penguins +1½ (-300) 5½ (-115) -110
Capitals -1½ (+250) 5½ (-105) -110
A little more than Ovechkin, and less than Ovechkind
Caps winger Alex Ovechkin has 13 goals in 16 games playing on the second line, but Washington is tied for 16th in NHL on the power play with an 18% success rate. The Caps had a three-game winning streak snapped by Buffalo on Tuesday, and are 20-6 in their last 26 games on Friday, 65-26 in their last 91 at home, and 37-18 in their last 55 playing Eastern Conference teams. Ovechkin has scored 31 goals and added 21 assists in 49 games against the Pens, while Backstrom has seven goals and 39 assists in 39 games. In injury news, Washington is about to be getting some of its injured players back, such as defenseman Matt Niskanen, forwards Tyler Graovac, and Brett Connolly, all of whom skated on Wednesday, though they may not necessarily be ready for Friday. Backstrom and Oshie have made up for their lack of offensive production with top-notch defensive work, all of which means that the NHL live betting total has gone under in the last three Caps games.
Malkin the Penguins
The Pens have been having offensive struggles of their own; Sidney Crosby hasn’t scored a goal in nine games, defenseman Kris Letang has only one goal all season, Riley Sheahan has one assist in eight games with Pittsburgh. Crosby is aware it’s been a long time since he scored last (join the club), but remains optimistic. “Usually that means you’re close to putting on in, so hopefully that’s a good sign for me. Yeah, there’s been some chances there, some posts, things like that, but still like to generate a little bit more,” he said. Meanwhile, Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin picked up the slack against the Coyotes, each with a goal and two assists to break a two-game skid for the Pens. Kessel has 15 points (4 goals and 11 assists) in the last 11 while Malkin has 14 points (6 goals and 8 assists) in as many games. The Penguins are 7-0 in their last seven games playing on 2 days’ rest, 4-0 in their last four on Friday, and 1-5 in their last six on the road. The NHL live betting total has gone under in three of the Pens’ last four games.