NHL Hockey Predictions, Capitals vs. Ducks Betting Odds

NHL Hockey Predictions

Capitals vs. Ducks Picks (GP)

By Rock Westfall

If the season ended today the Anaheim Ducks would be in the Western Conference playoffs by the skin of their chin.  But they would enter the playoffs with the momentum of six wins in their last eight games.  Momentum has also swung the way of the Washington Capitals.  Fresh off a Stadium Series win over the Toronto Maple Leafs the Caps have won three of their last four.  For the Ducks their success is based on an emphasis on defense and the stellar goaltending tandem of John Gibson and Ryan Miller.  For the Caps its sniper extraordinaire Alex Ovechkin leading the way.  The Ducks host the Caps Tuesday night.

Washington Capitals vs. Anaheim Ducks
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 10 p.m. ET
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
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Capitals vs. Ducks TV Coverage: NBCSN

Anaheim has a record of 33-21-12 and is one point behind the second place San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division.  The Ducks are coming off a strong 6-3 home payout over the Chicago Blackhawks.  Home ice has been nice for the Ducks as evidenced by their mark of 18-9-3-2 at Honda Center.  Over the total has paid in just 13 of their 32 home games.

The Caps dominated a good Toronto team in a 5-2 in the Stadium Series game at the US Naval Academy.  Washington leads the Metropolitan Division with a record of 37-21-6-1.  On the road the Caps are 14-12-4-1 with 21 of their 31 away games going over the total.  Only three of the Caps last ten games have gone under the number.

Special Teams

Washington boasts one of the top power plays in the NHL and ranks fifth in the league for that department.  Ovechkin of course is a big reason as to why.  The Russian has 40 goals on the season including 12 power play goals.  Additionally, The Great Eight has 13 power play assists.  Ovechkin’s snap shot from the left wing continues to be deadly.  The Ducks may be able to counter the Caps power play with a strong penalty killing unit that ranks fifth best in the league.  However, Anaheim has a terrible power play of its own that is ranked 24th for efficiency in the NHL.

Players to Watch

Another Russian has emerged as a key asset for the Capitals.  Center Evgeny Kuznetsov has 20 goals and 44 assists on the season.  He also has 18 power play assists in the role of feeding Ovechkin.  Washington defenseman John Carlson plays a complete 200-foot game while bringing 12 goals and 41 assists.

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf may only have nine goals on the season but he also boasts 36 assists with a plus-15.  His leadership is an important intangible.  Fellow Anaheim center Rickard Rakell has a team high 27 goals along with 27 assists.  Defenseman Josh Manson is having a fine season with 5 goals, 23 assists, and a team best plus-23

Scheduling Situation

The Ducks are concluding a four game homestand in this matchup.  They have won two of their first three in that stanza.  For the Caps this matchup opens a three game California road trip that will also include games this week at Los Angeles and San Jose.

Goalie Report

Anaheim’s John Gibson and Ryan Miller have been one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL.  Both have save percentages of .925.  Miller has posted three shutouts in 23 starts.  For Washington Braden Holtby has slipped a notch with a subpar .908 save percentage.  However, Holtby is capable of more as proven by his career save percentage of .920.  Holtby was stellar with 27 saves on 29 shots in the win over Toronto.  Backup Philipp Grubauer has outplayed Holtby and has posted a save percentage of .922 on the season.

Key Stats

Head to head Washington has dominated this series with six wins in their last eight meetings against the Ducks.  The Caps scored a 3-2 home payout over Anaheim on December 16.  Six of the last nine games between these teams went under the total.

Capitals vs. Ducks Free Picks

Both teams are in good form and it’s not inconceivable that they could meet in the Stanley Cup Final.  In a matchup that looks even Washington should be the better value.

Capitals vs. Ducks Pick: Bet the Washington Capitals money line.
Capitals vs. Ducks Score Prediction: Capitals 4, Ducks 2


NHL Hockey Betting Odds, Rangers vs Penguins Lines

NHL Odds

Rangers at Penguins Picks

By Adam Markowitz

The Pittsburgh Penguins are in serious danger of missing out on the postseason. The back-to-back Stanley Cup champions are currently sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and have a goal differential of -12. They have been playing better in recent weeks, but a terrible December put them behind the eight ball in the conference.

Pittsburgh will play host to the New York Rangers this weekend. The Rangers have overcome an awful start to the season and are battling for a playoff spot. A road win against a division rival would be nice.

New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins
Date and Time: Sunday, January 14, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Rangers at Penguins TV Coverage: NBCSN

Both of these teams will be playing on Saturday afternoon, so fatigue may be a little bit of a factor.

Pittsburgh has won three of its last four. However, the Penguins have not won a home game in regulation in quite a long time. The last time the Pens won a home game without going to overtime was all the way back on December 2, when they beat Buffalo 5-1. Since then, they have played eight home games. They lost four in regulation, won two in overtime, and won two in a shootout.

The Rangers have a knack of getting at least a point in each of their road games. Although they lost 2-1 to Vegas in their last road game, this team had ended regulation tied up in five straight road tilts prior to that. Under has been a great play in Rangers games recently, with 10 of their last 13 finishing under the total.

Injuries to Watch

New York’s Chris Kreider will be out for at least another month after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot. The Rangers might have another winger back for this one though as Kevin Hayes looks set to return from a concussion.

For Pittsburgh, Carter Rowney and Bryan Rust will be out for a significant amount of time. However, it looks like defenseman Chad Ruhwedel might be able to return for this one.

Key Stats

The main thing keeping Pittsburgh in the mix is its success on the power play. The Penguins have the NHL’s best power play, finding the back of the net on 26.6 percent of their opportunities this year.

This team has been on fire on the power play over its last nine games. Pittsburgh found the back of the net in six of those games and scored twice on the power play in four of those tilts. Through the nine games, the Penguins are 10-26 on the man advantage. That’s an incredible number over a significant period of time.

To make things easier, the penalty kill is one of the ten best units in the NHL. Pittsburgh has successfully killed off all penalties in seven straight games. Opponents had a combined 17 power play opportunities in those games, and the Penguins defenders helped them get some needed points by blanking them.

Player to Watch

New York has had a hard time generating offense over the last couple weeks. The Rangers have tallied just eight goals in their last five games, so one of their scorers needs to get back on track.

We all knew that Michael Grabner was going to come back down to Earth after his hot start, so now it’s up to players like Mika Zibanejad to start finding the back of the net for the Rangers. Zibanejad is second on the team in scoring, but has scored almost half of his goals on the power play. He needs to start scoring at even strength.

Rangers at Penguins Free Picks

These teams are very familiar with each other. They have already met twice this year with both games going over the total and the road teams winning each time.

Pittsburgh is going to be favored here, but with how it has played at home, the Rangers are a great bet. You can get them at a good price and should back them here.

Rangers at Penguins Pick: Back the Rangers on the road
Rangers at Penguins Score Prediction: Rangers 3 – Penguins 2