The washington capitals conclude a short two-game home stand as the St. Louis Blues travel to Washington, D.C. It’s time to continue our NHL odds series with a Blues-Capitals prediction and pick.
Washington is coming off a third-period comeback over the Buffalo Sabres, in which they scored twice in the final period to force overtime. They then sealed the victory in a shootout on Wednesday. The Blues enter the game coming off a loss at home to the Minnesota Wild in which they gave up eight goals. Giving up 13 goals in two games, the Blues look to get back in the win column Friday night.
Here are the Blues-Capitals NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Blues-Capitals Odds
St. Louis Blues: +1.5 (-172)
Washington Capitals: -1.5 (+142)
Over: 6.5 (-108)
Under: 6.5 (-112)
How To Watch Blues vs. Capitals
TV: NBCSports Washington / ESPN+
Stream: ESPN+ / NHLPP
Time: 7:00 PM ET/ 4:00 PM PT
*Watch NHL games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Blues Could Cover The Spread
In the prior 21 games before their Wednesday night loss, when they had a four-goal or better output, they won. If they did not get to that goal marker, they loss. It was a simple trend that came crashing down, as the Blues took an 8-5 loss to the Minnesota Wild. The Blues did a great job of beating Marc-Andre Fleury, but goaltending let them down. Bennington let in five goals on 19 shots of goal, leaving him with a .792 save percentage. Then, Bennington was ejected, Greiss came in and he was worse.
The power play situation was also an issue for the Blues, as they gave up two goals on four opportunities on the penalty kill, while also giving up a shorthanded goal. They did score three on the man-up situation, but it was not enough. Tonight the Blues are expected to face Charlie Lindgren for the Capitals. Lindgren has been admirable in net for the Capitals, but there are major opportunities for the Blues to score goals here.
For the Blues, Buchnevich is starting to heat up. He just had a hat trick against the Wild, and that extended his point streak to ten. In that time frame, he has seven goals with 11 assists. Last time he faced Lindgren, he also had a goal in the game, in the Blues win. If he can light the lamp again tonight, and Jordan Kyrou can also create some opportunities, the Blues can win this game in Washington.
Why The Capitals Could Cover The Spread
The Washington offense has been steadily declining over the past few season. After ranking second in the 19-20 season, they fell to fourth in 20-21, and then sixth in 21-22. They are currently 18th in the NHL at 3.10 goals per game. They are 20th in the NHL in Power Play percentage, tied for 16th in total shots, and 18th in shot percentage. Ovi is their top-scoring option, sitting 42nd in points, and their only player in the top 50. Only Kuznetsov joins Ovechkin in the top 100 in points this year. Ovechkin is still an elite scorer, sitting with 37-goals on the season.
In the game against Buffalo, it was the traditional top scorers from the years past that helped make the comeback. Kuznetsov, Ovechkin and Wilson all scored in the third period, as Backstrom, and Oshie resumed their traditional rolls, each getting an assist. As of late, when Washington is getting production from that group, they are winning. It happened with the Islanders win, the Sharks win, and the Ducks win all in recent games.
Tonight is expected to be Charlie Lindgren in the net for Capitals. While he has not been as good as Darcy Kuemper, he has been solid. His 2.78 GAA is 21st in the NHL, and his .903 save percentage is tied for 29th. Recent history has not been great for him though. He let in four goals in the comeback win against Buffalo, but prior to that was three-straight losses in which he let up 15 goals in three games. Lindgren needs to be back to form for them to slow down the Blues.
Final Blues-Capitals Prediction & Pick
Both the Blues and Capitals have been able to get goals recently, but also have put up some very poor performances. The total is something to be weary of unless there is a strong alternate line play to be made. This one will come down to power plays and goalie play. If one of the goalies gets into better form, or if one of the teams can capitalize on the power play, they will win. Lindgren has shown to be the better goaltender on the season, and the Capitals’ power play has been more dangerous as of late. They will come away with the win.
Final Blues-Capitals Prediction & Pick: Capitals -1.5 (+142)