No one wants to rely on the wild card to get them into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. So even with seventy points, the Capitals are in but not comfortable. The good news is that the three teams above them are all within five points. Tonight, they get the chance of narrowing the gap by taking the puck in their own control. They travel to Pittsburgh to play the suddenly vulnerable Penguins.
Caps Earning Their Keep
Two trends are going for the Capitols in this one. A winning road trip is possible with a victory here. On the four game trek, they have gone 2-1 and it would be a shame for a letdown now that they are so close in proximity to home. Second is that they have been dominant over Pittsburgh. Two games with two shut out does not get better than this.
Both Teams Are Getting Warmer
- 6-3-1 last ten
An almost full complement of players have gotten the Penguins on the right side of the ledger as of late. The Red Wings and Flames have fallen before them and a nip and tuck shootout loss to Chicago is what was seen by Pitt as of late. Hopefully this will add stability to an odd statistical quirk. Against the loaded west, they are 11-4-2. However closer to home in their own division, we see a 7-9-4 mark. For them to make headway in this, the power play must record their first goal of the month tonight.
For being so dominant, the road caps are getting +140 or so offshore. With weak division play and a dormant power play, it is not very encouraging to get off the losing streak in this one. Only really rubbery legs from the road trip will slow Washington down. The Capitols are +140 are the bargain of the night in the NHL. Good Fortune and we will see you next time at Apex Hockey Handicapping.