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Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Picks (Jan. 1)

2011 Winter Classic Preview – Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins

It’s NHL hockey betting season once again. Hockey Gambling fans sure are getting their money’s worth from the free nhl picks we give out here at Capperspicks.com.

Capitals (22-12-5) vs. Penguins (25-11-3) Matchup

Date/Time: 1:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 1, 2011
Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Broadcast: RDS, NBC (HD), CBC
Capitals vs. Penguins Betting Lines from Sportsbook.com
Odds: Pittsburgh -145, Washington +145
Over/Under: 6
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The Winter Classic is almost here and it arguably the most hyped regular season NHL game in history. Not only does it feature two of the biggest stars in the game today but HBO’s sports documentary “24/7” covered both teams leading up to the game.

This year`s version of the Winter Classic featured two of the best and most respected players in the game – Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.  The 2011 Winter Classic will be just the latest chapter in hockey’s version of Ali/Foreman or Manning/Brady.

The Washington Capitals have gotten over a major hiccup in which they lost eight straight games. Since their slide, the Capitals have won four of five and seem to be headed in the right direction again.

Despite only scoring 14 goals in Washington’s 39 games this season, Ovechkin has tallied six points in his last six games. The Penguins bring the absolute best out of Ovechkin – he has 17 goals and 14 assists in his last 21 games against the Pens.

Some help offensively would be nice – Nick Backstrom has two points in his last six games and has not scored in 13 games, while Alexander Semin has failed to light the lamp in 11 games.

Defensively, the Caps have tightened up in the last week or so. They are 11th ranked in the NHL (2.6 goals per game), but have only given up seven goals in their last five games. Both goaltenders are hot. Michal Neuvirth (1-0-1 with a 1.45 GAA in his last two games) may give way to Seymon Varlamov who has won his last two starts and is coming off a shutout win over the Montreal Canadiens.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been on quite a ride over the last month. A 12 game winning streak was followed up with a two game losing streak. They are losers of two of their last three contests. Still, with the best player in the game, the Penguins are never out of any game and we all know that Sid the Kid thrives on the Big Stage.

Crosby has been a one man show in Pittsburgh. Although his 25 game point scoring streak was snapped against the Islanders, he is still on a magical run. Crosby recorded 26 goals and 24 assists during his 25 game points streak and in 20 games against the Capitals he has recorded 13 goals and 22 assists.

Ovechkin is not the only Superstar that is not getting much help offensively. After a streak in which he scored 10 points in five games, Evgeni Malkin has gone pointless in his last three!

Defensively, the Penguins are 2nd in the NHL allowing 2.3 goals per game. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is 10-2-1 in his last 13 starts with a measly 1.86 goals against average.

Betting Prediction:

The Washington Capitals are just 8-8-1 in the road this season but are 6-2 in their last eight trips to Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Penguins are 13-6-1 at home this season, are 10-1 on home ice in their last 11 and are 19-7 in their last 26 games overall.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have the best forward in the game and the best goaltender at the moment – pretty hard to bet against a team with those X-factors. Sidney Crosby thrived on the biggest stage in hockey at last year`s Olympics while Ovechkin largely choked under the pressure. I love Sid and the Penguins in a low scoring g game in this one.

Trends:

Under is 7-1 in WAS last 8 games following a win.
Under is 16-5 in WAS last 21 overall.
WAS are 19-7 in their last 26 vs. Atlantic.
PIT are 9-0 in their last 9 vs. Southeast.
PIT are 10-1 in their last 11 home games.
PIT are 19-7 in their last 26 overall.
WAS are 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Pittsburgh.
Road team is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.

Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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