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Capitals Look to Exorcise Second-Round Demons as Huge Game 7 Faves

Are the Capitals finally going to get by the Penguins and advance past the second round of the playoffs in the Alex Ovechkin era? With a Game 7 on the docket against a Pittsburgh club that looks like it’s all but given up, it certainly looks that way. Bookmakers are bullish on the cardiac Caps tonight and opened them as the -175 home faves.

SHARK BITES
  • The Capitals have outshot the Penguins by an average of 9.67 per game in 5-on-5 play this series.
  • The Capitals have a 1-7-1 OVER/UNDER record in their 9 Game 7s since the 2005 lockout.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed 9 total goals the last 2 games on 58 shots against.

Washington has come all the way back from the brink and can finally exorcise its postseason demons tonight with a Game 7 victory over the pesky Penguins. The distinct advantage they hold over the Pens in this one is their secret weapon – Justin Williams. The second-year Capital is 7-0 in Game 7s over the course of his impressive career, amassing an incredible 14 points in those contests.

Beyond that, the Caps are just the much better team here. They’ve dominated 5-on-5 play all series and are coming off a performance in Game 6 that saw the Pens concede the first five goals. Marc-Andre Fleury was the only thing keeping the Pens in this series but the dam has finally burst and I doubt he provides much resistance tonight.

I’ll personally be backing Ovi and the Caps on the -1.5-goal puckline in this seventh and deciding game as I don’t see the Pens generating enough chances to score more than one or two on Braden Holtby. Given the Caps’ trends in Game 7s and their defensive prowess at the Verizon Center, I may also be looking at the UNDER 5.5.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

On the opening NHL betting line for this matchup, Washington sat as -175 favorites over at BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 at Bovada but may move closer to puck drop.

Odds Shark computer prediction handicapping models run on this game pick a 2.7-2.5 victory for the Capitals. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to vanquish their hosts on Wednesday, as they are 57-24-12 this season, while the Capitals are 62-22-10. Pittsburgh is 53-35-5 against the total, while Washington is 42-37-15 versus the number. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Washington vs Pittsburgh injuries news.

This game matches up the No. 3 (Washington Capitals) and the No. 5 (Pittsburgh Penguins) teams according to our current NHL Power Rankings.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Washington Capitals No. 2-ranked offense (3.18 goals per game) against a Pittsburgh Penguins defense that ranks No. 17 at 2.85 goals per game allowed. The Capitals powerplay has clicked at a 23.51% rate while the Penguins have a 79.66% rate on the penalty kill.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

 

Betting Trends
  • Pittsburgh is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Pittsburgh's last 9 games
  • Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh's last 5 games on the road
  • Washington is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 games
  • Washington is 17-7 SU in its last 24 games
  • Washington is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games at home
  • Washington is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Pittsburgh home to , Wednesday, December 31st
Washington home to , Wednesday, December 31st

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