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Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Free Picks & NHL Preview

Capitals vs Penguins NHL Spread/Handicapping

Headline: Penguins Look For 10th Straight Win Tuesday Night

Two teams that everyone was looking at in the Eastern Conference before the season started as favorites take to the ice Tuesday night with very different feelings about where they sit half way through the season. For the Penguins, they will try to build off an impressive nine game win streak and for the Caps they are just trying to give themselves a shot at making the playoffs this year.

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Washington Capitals (12-15-1-0) at Pittsburgh Penguins (22-8-0-0)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Broadcast: TSN2, NBCSN, CSN-DC, ROOT
Caps vs. Pens Betting Lines from Bookmaker
Washington Capitals +1½ -160 +190 Ov 6 +110
Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ +140 -210 Un 6 -121

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This is the third meeting of the season between the two clubs. Pittsburgh has dominated the previous two and Washington has given us little reason to think they won’t dominate the third.

The Washington Capitals are nowhere near the team that most thought they would be this year – three games under .500 and looking like they are in survival mode each and every night out. They are coming off a 5-3 win against the equally disappointing Buffalo Sabres which is the good news. The bad news – the Caps are 4-8-1 away from home and now have the misfortune of facing the hottest team in the game.

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Washington’s offense has been OK – they score an average of 2.79 goals per game. Alex Ovechkin has goals in two of Washington’s past three games and leads the team with 11, Marcus Johansson has three points in two games, Troy Brower has three points in three games and Joel Ward has two points in his last two games. The offense can hold its own but the same can’t be said for the…

Washington’s defense and goaltending has been a sore spot all season long and continues to be. They allow 3.04 goals per game. Braden Holtby has started the past two games for the Caps and has given up 11 goals. In his last three, Holtby is 1-2-0 with a 3.55 GAA and .893 save % – look for Michal Neuvirth to start. He has a 2.99 GAA this season and a .899 save % – not exactly an upgrade over Holtby.[ad-4437448]
The Pittsburgh Penguins are sizzling – nine straight wins and counting! Even the much maligned defense is doing its job. After allowing an average of 3 goals per game for most of the season this team has found another gear defensively. They have given up just five total goals in their last five games. Marc-Andre Fleury has won his last four decisions and allowed only three goals while going 3-0-0 last week and backup Tomas Vokoun is 3-0-0 with a 0.75 GAA and .971 save %. Unbelievable!

We all know what the Pittsburgh offense is capable of – they are near the top of the league in goals AGAIN with an average of 3.53 per game and they bring depth, strength and a willingness to score each and every time out. They will be without Evgeni Malkin again and offensive defenseman Kris Letang is in danger of missing Tuesday’s contest but when you have a guy named Sidney Crosby, it doesn’t matter all that much!

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:

• WAS are 1-7 in their last 8 vs. Atlantic.
• WAS are 4-11 in their last 15 road games.
• Under is 31-14-9 in WAS last 54 vs. Atlantic.
• Over is 11-4 in PIT last 15 vs. Southeast.
• PIT are 37-14 in their last 51 Tue. games.
• PIT are 42-17 in their last 59 overall.
• WAS are 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Pittsburgh.
• Over is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings in Pittsburgh.

Absolutely everything is going right for the Penguins heading into Tuesday’s contest except for the injuries. But that aside, there is no doubt who is the better team. The Penguins are machines – the Caps are awful on the road. It all adds up to an easy win for the Pens Tuesday. It may not be a great payday but it is a payday just the same!

Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins -210


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