Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals Prediction, NHL Odds

Payton Matthews | Updated Apr 03, 2024

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals

For the final time this season, legends Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will face off on Thursday night as Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins visit Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals.

April 04, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
Capital One Arena
Puckline -1.5 +200
Moneyline -115
Over / Under o +6
Puckline +1.5 -250
Moneyline -105
Over / Under u +6

It’s essentially a pick’em (both -110) on the NHL odds.

Penguins vs. Capitals NHL Betting Odds

The best NHL individual rivalry for about the past 20 years has been Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby against Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, two first-ballot Hall of Famers who have spent their entire careers with the same team and have won MVPs, Stanley Cup titles, Rocket Richard Trophies, you name it. There won’t be many matchups between those two left.

Crosby is still playing at very high level at age 36, while Ovechkin has slowed down a bit this season, understandably, at age 38, but also still a fine player. We have maybe two more seasons against one another if they both stay healthy. Ovi wants to stick around to break Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record and that probably will take until the 2025-26 season because he is 46 behind the Great One. Hard to see Ovechkin playing after that unless he only needs a few more goals in the 2026-27 campaign.

It’s not mathematically impossible that the Penguins and Capitals meet in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but Pittsburgh is on the outside looking in currently while Washington holds the No. 2 wild-card spot.

Washington is 2-1 vs. Pittsburgh this season. Ovechkin has two goals and an assist in the series and Crosby has three goals and a helper. Overall, the Caps have won six of the past 10 against the Pens and the over-under is 6-3-1.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh has followed a three-game losing streak that put its wild-card hopes in major jeopardy by winning four of five following a 6-3 upset win at New Jersey on Tuesday. The Penguins trailed 3-1 in the third and then went nuts as both Evgeni Malkin and Crosby scored twice in the period – all five goals came in a span of less than 12 game minutes. Crosby and Malkin helped lead a multi-goal, third-period comeback win for the 22nd time in their careers, tied for the second-most of any teammates in NHL history. It was Crosby’s 101st career multi-goal game, passing Alexander Mogilny for 24th all-time. Malkin also had an assist in the third for his 20th career three-point period, joining Mario Lemieux (74), Jaromir Jagr (33) and Crosby (24) as the only players in franchise history with at least 20 career three-point periods.

The Pens have gotten hot solely with Alex Nedeljkovic in net as he has started six straight games and has gotten Pittsburgh at least one point in each with a 4-0-2 mark, 2.53 GAA and .915 save percentage. Tristan Jarry had been the No. 1 but really started struggling and then came down with an illness. Still, he might play here simply as Nedeljkovic could use a night off. Rare to see a goalie start both ends of a back-to-back nowadays, but Nedeljkovic did Monday and Tuesday. The over is 5-1 in Pittsburgh’s past six on the road.

Washington Capitals

Washington is trending the wrong way having followed three straight wins with three straight losses and looked bad Tuesday in a 6-2 defeat at a mediocre Buffalo team. Caps goalie Charlie Lindgren was the team’s No. 2 early on but took the No. 1 job from Darcy Kuemper weeks ago. Lindgren has been a very pleasant surprise, but he has to be gassed having played in 10 straight games. Kuemper did replace him early in the third period Tuesday, and it sure feels like it’s his turn to start with Lindgren having a 3.98 GAA and .879 save percentage in the past seven.

Dylan Strome scored his 26th goal in Tuesday’s loss to tie Ovechkin for the team lead. Strome leads in points with 62 but is also minus-12. Winger Tom Wilson (32 points) completed a six-game suspension Tuesday and will play on Thursday. Fellow forward T.J. Oshie (22 points) missed Tuesday injured and is day-to-day. Washington is 2-5 at home in its past seven vs. Pittsburgh.

NHL Prediction: Who Will Win Penguins vs. Capitals?

NHL Predictions