NHL Betting: Penguins at Capitals Game 5 Odds
Written by Mike Rose of North Shore Sports, INC
If your favorite hockey team didn’t make the playoffs this season, make the games more interesting by betting on the NHL odds at BookMaker Sportsbook! This is the only online wagering outlet that offers early NHL spreads and totals. The matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals will start at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at Verizon Center. Game 5 of this series will be televised live on NBC.
The President’s Trophy winners are down 3-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins and now need three straight wins in order to move to the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s a tall order for any team, but if there is a team that can do it in the East, it’s the Washington Capitals.
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Washington will be favored in this game since it is back in DC and because it’s do or die.
The Capitals don’t want to join the list of teams that posted the top regular season record only to completely fizzle out in the playoffs. Every game so far has been decided by just one goal which highlights how close these two teams are in terms of overall skill.
Matt Murray has been absolutely phenomenal in net for Pittsburgh this series and his play this postseason has kept the highly compensated Marc-Andre Fleury on the bench. Although he’s just a rookie, he hasn’t shown any of the jitters one might expect from a young player in the playoffs.
After giving up four goals in the series opener, Murray bounced back to suffocate the high-powered Capitals offense in the next three. Murray is 6-1 with a .944 save percentage in the playoffs and his play has been fabulous backstopping a Pens team that allows numerous shots on net.
Braden Holtby dominated against the toothless Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, allowing just six goals in the series’ six games. However, the script has been flipped in the first four games against the Penguins. Holtby has let in 11 goals heading into Game 5 and although he hasn’t made any boneheaded decisions that have led to goals, Pittsburgh’s aggressive style has gotten to him.
The Penguins are putting pucks on net at a rate Philadelphia couldn’t and now Holtby looks much more beatable because of it.
Pittsburgh and Washington have played each other extremely close thus far this series with one goal deciding every game to this point. All of those but Game 3 saw a game that was tied for the most part, but one team scored late to win it.
Betting on the over in the first period is probably a good move. Capitals’ head coach Barry Trotz will likely shake things up a bit and have Washington playing an ultra-aggressive style to try to jump out to an early lead on the Pens. For their part, with Kris Letang back in the line-up, Pittsburgh’s offense and power play will get a kick and will have more chances.
This has been the physical, fast paced series that the NHL wants in order to expand its audience. However that physicality led to two crucial suspensions, one of which has been killing the Capitals. Brooks Orpik’s hit on Olli Maatta led to a three game suspension for Orpik and Washington has been greatly missing his absence. Orpik is a big physical defender that knows how to use his body to ride wings into the boards and is capable of bone-crushing checks, but his head shot on Maatta that was completely outside the area of play was uncalled for.
Pittsburgh had a somewhat similar situation happen in Game 3 with Kris Letang, but Letang’s hit was much more in the line of play and led to just a one game suspension. Now Letang is back for Game 5 and ready to lead the Pens to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Without Orpik, Washington has been struggling to stop the Pens but he’ll be unavailable in Game 5 due to the suspension. Many will expect the Caps to come back in Game 5 and send the series back to Pittsburgh, but without Orpik they might not be able to do that.
Grab the Pens on the moneyline here.
NHL Odds: Penguins 3, Capitals 1