NHL Odds: Capitals vs. Penguins prediction, odds, pick and more – 2/1/2022
Bitter Metropolitan Division rivals Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, will kick off the month of love facing against each other later tonight at PPG Paints Arena. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our NHL odds series, which includes our Capitals-Penguins prediction, odds, and pick we have laid out below.
The regular-season series between the Caps and Pens are tied at 1-1, and this will be the first time this season that they will meet at Pittsburgh’s home ice. Washington is looking for consistency, as it has not won consecutively this year. As for Pittsburgh, it’s hoping to return to its winning ways.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Capitals-Penguins odds:
NHL odds: Capitals-Penguins Odds
Capitals: +1.5 (-188)
Penguins: -1.5 (+152)
Over: 5.5 (-118)
Under: 5.5 (-104)
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Why the Capitals Could Cover the Spread
The Capitals (24-12-9) prevented a three-game losing skid when they showed no mercy to their former goalie, Braden Holtby, in a 5-0 road win over the Dallas Stars back on Friday. Before that, the Caps lost back to back to the Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks at home via a combined score of 5-1. It must feel great for Washington to see its offense come back to life in the Dallas game after the Caps’ offensive debacle in the previous contests. The Capitals also finally found the back of the net on the power play after going scoreless on the man advantage in the past five games, burying two PP goals against Dallas.
That’s a good form to have for Washington heading into the meeting with the Penguins, considering that Pittsburgh’s penalty killing hasn’t looked great of late. The Pens have allowed three goals on 10 chances on the power play by their last five opponents. Moreover, the Caps went 1/3 on the man advantage in their 6-1 home win against Pittsburgh way back in November. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who’s got a goal and three assists in the last five games, has lit the lamp twice this season against the Penguins. The well-rested Capitals will skate Tuesday night with a 12-5 record in their last 17 games against Eastern Conference teams.
Vitek Vanecek is likely going to start in front of the net for the Capitals after he rejected all 29 shots from the Stars. He also stopped Dallas from scoring on seven power play attempts, a good sign for the Capitals ahead of the matchup against the red-hot PP attack of Pittsburgh.
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Why the Penguins Could Cover the Spread
Unlike the Capitals, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins (27-11-7) failed to stop their losing skid from reaching three games. The Penguins have clearly cooled off after winning six in a row. The last time they were on the ice, the Pens lost to the Los Angeles Kings Sunday at home, 4-3, to suffer their first winless streak in a span of three games for the first time since November. The glaring issue for the Penguins at the moment is an offense that takes so much time to heat up. Pittsburgh has not scored in the first period in any of its last five games.
The Penguins could have scored a win or two more during that stretch had they only established their offense early, as each of their last three losses was decided by just a goal. Perhaps the game this Tuesday against Washington is where the Penguins finally solve their offensive issues in the first period. For one, they have scored twice in that frame against the Caps this season. They defeated Washington the last time these two teams met last December in DC, 4-2. And although their penalty kill has been a suspect of late, the Penguins’ power play attack has been sensational, having buried 14 PP goals in the last 15 Pittsburgh games. Playing at home should give the Penguins a boost against a Washington team that has lost in five of its last seven trips to Pittsburgh.
Although he’s allowed six goals in his last two starts, Tristan Jarry remains a dependable asset for Pittsburgh’s defense. On the season, Jarry owns a 23-8-5 record and a 2.17 GAA to go with a .925 SV%.
Final Capitals-Penguins Prediction & Pick
On paper, the Penguins look bad having lost all of their last three games, but they were competitive in all of them. Two of those losses were decided beyond regulation time. And as mentioned, all those games were 1-goal decisions. Playing at home against a rival, expect the Penguins to get it together, striking early and silencing Washington’s offense.
Final Capitals-Penguins Pick: Penguins -1.5 (+152)