A premier showdown between a pair of teams fighting for their playoff lives will take place as the Washington Capitals head to the Steel City to do battle with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Let's check out our NHL odds series where our Capitals-Penguins prediction and pick will be revealed for all bettors to see.

In what has been a competitive series between the two this season thus far, the Capitals enter the weekend with a 34-31-8 record and are currently four points behind the Penguins for the final Wild Card spot in the East. Lately, the ‘Caps found themselves stuck in the midst of a three-game losing streak but were able to come out victorious in a 6-1 beatdown over the Blackhawks on Thursday.

The Penguins are also in must-win mode with the Capitals breathing down their necks, as Pittsburgh has tailed off lately with losses in five of their previous six games including a narrow loss in Dallas by a score of 3-2 on Thursday as well. With only ten games remaining on the regular season scheduled slate, Pittsburgh has no time to mess around if they want to be included in the Stanley Cup chase only a few weeks from now.

Here are the Capitals-Penguins NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NHL Odds: Capitals-Penguins Odds

Washington Capitals: +1.5 (-196)

Pittsburgh Penguins: -1.5 (+162)

Over: 6.5 (-110)

Under: 6.5 (-110)

How To Watch Capitals vs. Penguins


Stream: ESPN+

Time: 8:00 ET/5:00 PT

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Why The Capitals Could Cover The Spread

Without a doubt, there is some bad blood between these two rivals, and with the current playoff stakes on the line, the intensity of this late-regular season matchup will be at an all-time high.

Of course, the Capitals aren't playing their best hockey at the moment, but neither are the Penguins. This obviously bodes well for the Capitals, as the Penguins are also devastatingly injured heading into this hotly-contested matchup. Not to mention, but the return of defenseman John Carlson from a gnarly skull fracture proved to be a sight for sore eyes as he was able to tally a power-play goal to go along with an assist en route to the blowout victory over Chicago. Alas, it will be up to these types of performances from even the most unlikely of heroes if Washington is going to find a way to cover the spread.

Most importantly, not only do the Capitals enter play extremely desperate to knock off their conference-rival foes, but taking advantage of Pittsburgh's banged-up goaltending room may end up being the difference by the time the final horn sounds. With a backup most likely starting in net for the Penguins, Washington can't afford to play selfish and instead must share the wealth offensively to draw up tremendous looks in the crease. Despite the ‘Caps only averaging 3.16 goals per game this season, they have scored 12 goals in their previous two outings and look to be trending upwards in regard to their overall offensive efficiency.

Why The Penguins Could Cover The Spread

With the longest active postseason streak in North American sports standing at 16 consecutive seasons making the playoffs, Pittsburgh is trending in the wrong direction as we head down the final stretch of regular season play. Nevertheless, this team still showcased a plethora of talented skaters galore despite being far more banged up than they would like.

First things first, Pittsburgh's 30-42 record ATS isn't impressive by any means, and it will most likely be up to backup goalie Casey DeSmith to keep the Capitals at bay. Even though the absence of starting net-minder Tristan Jerry is a concerning aspect for Pittsburgh bettors and fans alike, this partaking in the action of this one should keep in mind that DeSmith is no slouch in between the posts. In fact, DeSmith has posted a not-too-shabby .907 save percentage in his 32 starts on the season and is more than capable in silencing a middle-of-the-pack Capitals offense.

In addition, it is hard to deny the greatness of someone like center Sidney Crosby who continues to shine bright even at the ripe age of 35. Believe it or not, “Sid the Kid” leads the team in goals, assists, and total points and doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. Be on the lookout for Crosby to be in the right place at the right time en route to some big-time scoring opportunities that might put Pittsburgh on top for good in this one.

Final Capitals-Penguins Prediction & Pick

With major postseason implications on the line, it all comes down to this! Given the fact that the Penguins are the home team tonight, side with Pittsburgh in covering in a statement win in the final stages of the regular season.

Final Capitals-Penguins Prediction & Pick: Penguins -1.5 (+162)