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The Washington Capitals will travel to the PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday night to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the next chapter of their historic rivalry. The Capitals are 2-0-1 and the Penguins are 1-2-0 on the season. These two teams faced off on Sunday and the Pittsburgh Penguins defended their home ice with a shootout victory 4-3.
These teams have had very different starts to their “regular” season and this game could be a tone-setter in terms of where these teams will end up against each other. Let’s take a look at Washington and Pittsburgh in order to decide where we should be placing our bets.
Center of Attention
Center Nicklas Backstrom has been one of the leaders for the Washington Capitals on the offensive side of the ice this season as he has two goals, a pair of assists, and four points in their first three games. In his first game of the year against the Penguins, Backstrom contributed with a goal on just two shots on goal. He has the potential to have a solid start to the season with a good game here.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been one of the worst team defenses to begin the season as they have allowed 4.67 goals per game, which is 29th in the NHL. In their last game against the Capitals, they allowed three goals on just 23 shots in a winning effort. If they can strengthen up their defensive sets, they will be in a better place for this game.
Get Your Points Here
Left Winger Brandon Tanev has been leading the offense for the Pittsburgh Penguins as he has two goals, an assist, and three points in their first two games. In his first game of the season against the Capitals, Tanev finished without contributing a shot on goal or scoring a point in 14:40 on the ice. If he can figure out how to be more productive against the Washington defense, it will do wonders for this Pittsburgh team.
The Washington Capitals have been one of the better team defenses to begin the season as they have allowed 2.67 per game, which is the 14th in the NHL. In their last game against the Penguins, they allowed four goals on just 27 shots in a win. If they can figure out how to extend this positive defensive output, they will be a great team.
- Pittsburgh: 1-4 in their last 5 games
- Pittsburgh: 1-4 in their last 5 games vs a team with a winning percentage above .600
- Washington: 4-0 in their last 4 Tuesday games
- Washington: 19-9 in their last 28 games in the fourth game of a 4 games in 6 day situation
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This game should be better for the Capitals than it went on Sunday. Washington had multiple leads but were not able to hold onto it throughout the game. They also allowed a very early goal to begin the game and shouldn’t have to worry about that happening again. The Caps are in the midst of playing four games in six days and they are solid in the last game of that situation while Pittsburgh has won just once in their last five games. Go with Washington in this game.
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams have been scoring the puck well and they are coming off seven goals (six before the shootout) and they are playing well. The over has hit in the last five matchups between Washington and Pittsburgh so these goaltenders are going to need to bring their A+ game if they want to stop the trend. However, what I saw on Sunday doesn’t make me confident in that happening so go with the OVER in this matchup.