Two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh is once again a top pick. And with good reason. They are a proven commodity with the Stanley Cup Playoff odds. Especially so against the Capitals. For seven consecutive playoff matchups Washington was eliminated by the Penguins. In 2016 and 2017 Pittsburgh killed off the Caps. Will the third time be the charm? Or will Washington once again fall to their hated arch rivals? To many it seems cruel that the Capitals again face their nemesis. But others see it as the ultimate opportunity. Should Washington prevail it could be a springboard to glory.
Capitals vs. Penguins Eastern Conference Semifinal
Date and Time: Series runs April 26 through May 9, 2018
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
NHL Betting Online Odds at SBG: Penguins -115, Capitals -105
Capitals vs. Penguins TV Coverage: Check Listings
Lookout for this Series
Washington will host the first two games of this best of seven series. Pittsburgh gets games three and four on home ice. If game five is needed its in the Nation’s Capital. PPG Paints Arena would get a game six. Should there be a game seven its set for Capital One Arena. In the first round Washington defeated Columbus 4-2. Most impressive is that they rallied from 0-2 down with four straight wins. Philadelphia was eliminated by the Pens 4-2 in the opening round.
Alex Ovechkin vs Sidney Crosby
Two of the biggest names with the Stanley Cup Playoff odds meet in this series. Alex Ovechkin of Washington and Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh dominate the marquee. Both have the playoff hot hand so far. Ovechkin had five goals and three assists against Columbus. He totaled 49 goals and 38 assists in the regular season. Crosby lit up the Flyers with six goals and seven assists with a plus seven. Regular season action saw him total 29 goals and 60 assists.
Goaltenders with a Backgrownd
Both goaltenders have had an interesting path this year. After a subpar regular season Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray posted a .911 save percentage against Philly. Murray has backstopped the Pens last two Stanley Cup championships. Washington’s Braden Holtby began post season on the bench. He got the emergency call after the Caps lost the first two games. Holtby responded with .932 save percentage against the Blue Jackets.
Barry Trotz vs. Mike Sullivan
Washington coach Barry Trotz has brought more structure to the team. Ovechkin has played better under Trotz. Yet the former Nashville coach is yet to exercise the Caps playoff demons. Pittsburgh’s Mike Sullivan has won two Stanley Cups in his first two seasons. Sullivan has proven to be the strong leader needed to match the Pens deep talent.
Team vs Team
Pittsburgh has beaten the sportsbook in 12 of their last 20 against Washington. Six of the last nine in this series went under the total. At PPG Paints Arena the Pens have won eight of their last 11 against the Caps. Just 3 of the last 12 between these teams at Pittsburgh went under the total.
Matchup to Watch
Matchup wise the Penguins have to be the Caps heads. Pittsburgh also owns a strong edge with secondary scoring depth. Not to mention the best power play in the league. Washington’s lacks as many weapons to beat the Stanley Cup Playoff odds.
Capitals vs. Penguins NHL Playoff Lines Picks
Pittsburgh is loaded and on top of their game. Expect the Penguins to again crush the Caps.
NHL Betting Online Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Betting Online Score Prediction: Penguins 4 games, Capitals one game
Watch highlights of the Penguins clinching win over the Flyers!