Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals Prediction, NHL Odds

Jordan Ramsay | Updated Feb 23, 2021

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Pittsburgh and Washington will renew one of the best NHL rivalries of the past 15 years when they face off on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh
10-7-1
AT
February 23, 2021, 7:00 PM ET
Capital One Arena
Washington
10-5-2-2
Puckline +1.5 -258
Moneyline -105
Over / Under o +6.5

46%

Betting Action

54%

Puckline -1.5 +214
Moneyline -115
Over / Under u +6.5

46%

Betting Action

54%

As Connor McDavid‘s and Auston Matthews‘ professional rivalry up in the North Division is leading them to become the new faces of the NHL , Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will get a chance to remind fans of their own legendary rivalry when the Pittsburgh Penguins head to Washington to face the Capitals on Tuesday.

This game is essential a tossup with the Capitals technically the favourite to win on the NHL odds at -119.  The total is set at 6.5.

Penguins vs. Capitals Betting Analysis

Even though Pittsburgh has won three of four meetings between these teams this season, it has been an extremely competitive series up to this point.  Two of the Pens’ wins came in extra time (one OT win, one shootout) and only one of the four games was decided by more than two goals.

Crosby just seems to know how to find a way to win, regardless of the circumstances.  He is probably the biggest reason why the Pens have won seven of the last 11 games in this series.  If you’re planning to back Pittsburgh, however, keep in mind they have only covered in one of eight road games this season and they are 3-13 against the spread overall.

One thing you can be fairly confident in with Washington, especially when Ovechkin is in the lineup, is goal scoring.  The Caps have hit the Over in seven of their last eight games against Pittsburgh and 10 of 15 games overall this season.  Washington is 10-7 ATS so far, covering in six of 10 home games.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pens are coming into this game after sweeping their two-game set with the New York Islanders on Thursday and Saturday.  Although Evegni Malkin had three points (all assists) in those games, he’s been struggling this season and people are starting to wonder if this is the start of the 34-year-old’s decline.  Malkin has 10 points in 16 games (3G, 7A), but hasn’t been producing consistent scoring chances.  With his first multi-point game of the season on Thursday and a solid 10 shots in his last three games, fans in Pittsburgh are hoping the slow start has just been a blip on the radar for Malkin.

Injuries have been hitting some of Pittsburgh key depth players.  Despite skating on Monday (albeit separately from the main team) Jared McCann, Evan Rodrigues and Brian Dumoulin have all been ruled out for Tuesday.  McCann looks like he’ll be back soon, as he is travelling with the team for their four-game road trip, but Dumoulin and Rodrigues look like they’ll both still miss significant time.

Washington Capitals

When you hit the age of 33 in the NHL, the best you can typically hope for is to not have a large decline.  For Nicklas Backstrom, however, he is having the best start to the season of his career.  Backstrom is Washington’s leading scorer by far, with 22 points (8G, 14A) in 17 games, including two assists in the Caps’ 4-3 win over New Jersey on Sunday.  He is tied for seventh in the NHL for points and his 22 points are the most he’s ever had through his first 17 games of a season.

You could probably be forgiven for forgetting veteran goalie Craig Anderson is now with the Caps, as he just started his first game of the season on Sunday.  In his Washington debut, Anderson stopped 23 of 26 shots for his 290th career win and his first start in 347 days.  Don’t expect Anderson to steal the starters role from Vitek Vanecek, but he should provide much needed depth between the pipes and also serve as a valuable mentor to the rookie goalie.

NHL Prediction: Who Will Win Penguins vs. Capitals?

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