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Montreal Canadiens vs. Washington Capitals NHL Picks | Preview

2011 NHL Hockey Free Predictions: Canadiens vs Capitals

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.


Montreal Canadiens (27-18-5) at Washington Capitals (27-15-9)
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 1, 2011, 7:30 PM ET
Venue: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
Broadcast: RDS (HD), TSN (HD), CSN-DC (HD)
Canadiens vs. Capitals Betting Lines from Sportsbook.com
Spread: OFF
Moneyline: Canadiens +150: Capitals -170
Over/Under: 5.5 goals

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Somehow, the Montreal Canadiens have emerged out of the All Star break clinging to a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Somehow, the Washington Capitals, with all their talent are 17th in the NHL in scoring and are not even tops in their own division. Both teams will look to kick off their second half with a bang on Tuesday night as the NHL returns from its five day All Star hiatus.

The Montreal Canadiens have gone 6-2-2 in their last 10 games bust still only hold a slim three point lead over ninth place Carolina in the Eastern Conference. Montreal has battled injuries and some average play from their stars but has kept their heads above water. Tuesday will be a good measuring stick as to where they stand going forward.

Montreal currently owns the 23rd ranked offense in the NHL (2.6 goals per game). Once again, they will be forced to play without Mike Cammalleri on Tuesday and a timeline for his return is still up in the air. Mathieu Darche has three points in two games, max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec each have four points in three games and PK Subban has filled in admirably for injured Andre Markov with six points in seven games. The Habs aren’t going to win many games with their offense – defense is going to have to steal the show.

Montreal has the 6th best goals against average in the NHL (2.4 goals per game). Carey Price has been outstanding this season but has struggled lately going 0-1-1 in his last two starts with a 3.42 goals against average. In nine career starts against Washington, Price is just 2-3-3. Hopes are that the All Star experience will rejuvenate the young goaltender.

The Washington Capitals have been a disappointment. Sure their record is good and sure they are within striking distance of the Eastern Conference lead, but much more was expected of this team. Surprisingly, it is the defense, not the offense that has kept the Capitals afloat this season. They are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games.

We have watched the Capitals goals for ranking slip all season long to this point – 17th in the NHL (2.7 goals per game). The reasons – they have scored just one goal in each of their last four games and they have been shut out an astonishing seven times in their last 32 games! He team is one for 21 on the power play in their last nine games and only one player can even be considered warm – Alex Ovechkin who has four goals in five games.

Thank goodness for goaltending and defense! Coach Bruce Boudreau has done a masterful job at refocusing this team on defense (at the expense of offense unfortunately). Barden Holtby has been great of late (1-0-1 with a 0.96 goals against average) but he will likely give way to the equally hot Seymon Varlamov who has a very good 1.70 goals against average in his last 10 starts.

Betting Prediction: The Montreal Canadiens are 11-12-1 on the road this season. The Washington Capitals are 16-5-6 at home this season and are 43-21 in their last 64 on home ice.

The Under is 33-14-4 in Montreal’s last 51 games on the road. The Under is 12-3-1 in Washington’s last 16 home games. However the Over is 5-1-1 in Montreal’s last seven games.

Montreal has been playing well despite the absence of many of their opening day starter but the luck has to run out some time doesn’t it? Look for the Capitals to flex a little muscle in the second half of the season and it all starts Tuesday against the Habs on home ice.

Pick: Washington Capitals -170

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