After tonight one will be able to do some NHL betting on either the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Washington Capitals, but not both. The Caps won consecutive games to tie the series 3-3. Andre Burakovsky scored two goals on Monday and Braden Holtby made 16 saves to lead Washington to a 5-2 road win. T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson scored as well. The Capitals outshot the Penguins 11-3 in the first period, and have outshot the Penguins 200-133 so far in the series. The Pens brought back the vaunted HBK line but broke it up by the end of the game.
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Verizon Center
Sportsbook odds for fans who bet on hockey:
Penguins +1½ (-190) 5½ (+110) +165
Capitals -1½ (+165) 5½ (-130) -190
Recent form: The Pens have dropped three of the last four games, including the last two straight, and four of the last six while visiting Washington. More historically speaking, though, Pittsburgh has never lost a game 7 as visitors (5-0).
News: Sidney Crosby scored his 97th postseason goal to overcome Mario Lemieux for the franchise record. Evgeni Malkin leads the league with 18 points – five goals and 13 assists – in the playoffs. “We’re still in the same spot. We just need one more win,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. “That’s the good thing about it. It’s a good thing we got ourselves a lead there [in the series] and are able to still be in the race to beat them.”
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Penguins may have stumbled but remain proficient at covering; they are 9-3 against the spread in the last 12 games, and 4-2 ATS in the last six on the road as well as the last six against the Caps. The NHL betting total has gone over in two thirds of the Pens’ last nine versus the Capitals.
Recent form: The Caps have won 17 of their last 24 games and 19 of their last 25 at home, including four of their last six times hosting the Pens.
News: It hasn’t happened yet but should the Capitals beat the Penguins and go through to the next round, it would be the news of the decade in hockey. Washington hasn’t gotten past the second round since 1998 when they made it all the way to the Cup Final. This time they have “Mr. Game 7” Justin Williams – who wasn’t able to work his magic last year when the Pens eliminated the Caps in six games. They just have to be careful that Alex Ovechkin doesn’t cancel him out. For all his accomplishments, the Russian has yet to participate in a conference final since joining the NHL in 2005.
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Penguins are obviously only interested in winning and moving on. Thus they have neglected the spread; they are 2-11 ATS in the last 13 games, 1-6 ATS in the last seven at home, and 2-4 ATS in the last six versus Pittsburgh. However, they have covered in two thirds of the last six Penguins visits.