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Capitals Look to Bounce Back vs Rival Penguins

Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Preview

The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins face off Tuesday night in the second half of a two-game series. The Penguins took the first game 4-3 in overtime with a Jake Guentzel winner. The Capitals got the better of the Penguins last season, winning two of the three matchups.

Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Date/Time: January 19, 7 p.m. ET
  • Arena: PPG Paints Arena
  • TV Coverage: NBCS
  • Opening Odds: Penguins -122 | O/U 7.5 (Line History)
  • Capitals vs Penguins Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The game opened with the Penguins as favorites at -122 and the line has moved in both directions as it can now be found at either -120 or -125 depending on the sportsbook. The total opened at 7.5 and is now locked in at 6.5 with the UNDER favored in the -110 to -115 range.

Washington News & Notes

The Capitals have at least a point in each of their three games this season, starting 2-0-1, but their play through those three games is a tad concerning. The Caps have had fewer scoring chances and high-danger scoring chances than their opponent in all three games and were outshot in two of three.

One player who isn’t sharing in those struggles, though, is ageless wonder Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin has one goal and four points in three games and has shown no signs of slowing down in his 16th season. Ovechkin is tied for the team lead in points with longtime linemate Nicklas Backstrom.

The Capitals are also trying to break in a couple of new goalies this season as Ilya Samsonov is now the unquestioned starter after playing in 26 games last season. A former first-round pick of the Caps, Samsonov went 16-6-2 last year with a .913 save percentage. He is expected to make the start in this game.

Pittsburgh News & Notes

Pittsburgh started slowly, dropping each of its first two games against the Flyers. But the underlying numbers have been there for the Penguins – they have had more scoring chances than their opponent in all three games, and more high-danger scoring chances in two of three games.

Maybe a better sign for Pittsburgh than their underlying numbers is the lack of scoring from some of their top players. Through three games, star center Evgeni Malkin and top defenseman Kris Letang have yet to register a point. Bottom-sixers Brandon Tanev and Mark Jankowski lead the team with three points apiece.

In net, it has been a tough start to the year for new starter Tristan Jarry. Jarry gave up six goals in the opener, three in the second game before being pulled, and did not start the third game. Backup Casey DeSmith picked up the win over Washington on Sunday and bettors will want to monitor who gets the nod on Tuesday.

Betting Pick: Capitals +105

While the underlying numbers say the Caps may have overachieved a tad early in the year, the Pittsburgh goalie situation is worrisome. You get great value betting on the Capitals too.

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Shark Bites
  • Washington is 2-4 in its last 6 games vs Pittsburgh.
  • Washington is 5-10 in its last 15 road games.
  • The OVER is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings between these teams.