NHL Best Bets: Penguins vs. Capitals Game Picks

One of the NHL’s best rivalries over the last two decades will go down tonight, with the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the Washington Capitals.

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Pittsburgh Penguins (-140) vs. Washington Capitals (+116) Total: 6.5 (O -110, U -110)

It’s always a treat when two of the best players to ever suit up in the NHL collide. Sidney Crosby and the Penguins head to Washington to visit Alex Ovechkin. Things haven’t been going great for either club, but for different reasons. The Penguins are 4-6-2 and have been struggling, while the Capitals are 6-6-2. Pittsburgh hasn’t been able to find consistency and needs to figure things out sooner rather than later. On the other hand, Washington has been dealing with significant injuries, making things much harder for them. 

With the number of injuries the Caps have with some of their core players, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that the Pens are the favorites tonight at -140. The Capitals have relied on solid goaltending to stay in games, and we’ll see if they can build off their win over the Edmonton Oilers. 

Looking at the expected goalie matchup, the Penguins will likely turn to Tristian Jarry, while the Capitals should start Darcy Kuemper. There’s room for improvement for the Penguins’ starting goalie, who’s posted a 4-3-1 record and a .903 save percentage. Kuemper has looked good in his first season with Washington, posting a 4-5-1 record with a .919 save percentage. Both goalies should be in the top half of the league with their numbers when all is said and done, but for the time being, it’s easy to be more impressed with Kuemper. 

The Penguins have struggled with consistency, but a battle against one of their biggest rivals should get them going in a positive direction. There’s a reason they are priced at -140 on the moneyline, so don’t overthink this one, even amid their struggles. 

Best Bet: Penguins moneyline (-140)

Due to the Caps’ injuries, it’s not likely they’ll start scoring at a high clip. The Caps are 22nd in the NHL in goals per game, while the Penguins have seen six or fewer goals scored in four of their last six games. Both goaltenders should also play a role in keeping this a low-scoring affair. As a result, look towards the under 6.5 at -110. 

Best Bet: Under 6.5 (-110)

There will come a time when Crosby and Ovechkin stop putting up elite numbers, but that time is not now. Crosby has tallied six goals and eight assists through twelve games, but he’s been on somewhat of a dry spell lately, coinciding with the team’s overall struggles. This is an excellent matchup for No. 87 to get back on the board, and it’s one he’s found success in throughout his career, recording 84 points in 64 games against Washington. With that, it’s hard to fade Crosby to light the lamp at +152. 

Best Prop: Sidney Crosby to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+152)