Old Foes Clash on Tuesday Night
Another chapter will be added to a great rivalry that hockey fans have followed for the last 14 years. Crosby and Ovechkin will once again take the ice in what has become one of the greatest player-to-player comparisons in NHL history. Their respective teams are again in playoff contention and both clubs are gearing up for another run at Lord Stanley. Sid and Ovi will be key to their team’s success down the stretch and will be the focus of this Tuesday’s meetup as well.
The Penguins look to put a halt to an opponent’s gaudy streak for the second consecutive contest on Tuesday. The Penguins, who snapped Boston’s 19-game point run with a 4-2 victory on Sunday, will encounter a Capitals club that has won a season high-tying seven in a row. The streak has allowed them to ascend to the top of the Metropolitan Division.
With solid play over the past two weeks, Pittsburgh has managed to pull themselves into third place in the Metropolitan Division. Most recently, the Pens defeated the playoff-bound Boston Bruins 4-2 in what was a playoff-like game.
Washington has also played a strong game of late. They’ve won 9 of their last 10 games and own a four-point cushion over the New York Islanders for first in the Metro. Like in years past, Alex Ovechkin has been the straw that stirs the Capitals’ drink. The 33-year-old hasn’t slowed down a bit, and instead seems to be getting stronger. He’s registered 46 goals and 31 assists in 46 games played and leads the NHL in goals scored. Tune in for the 7:00 PM ET puck drop.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The three previous meetings between the teams have all resulted in one-goal decisions. Pittsburgh has posted a 2-1-0 mark after captain Sidney Crosby scored and set up a goal in a 2-1 win in Washington on Dec. 19. Crosby and fellow former Hart Trophy recipient Alex Ovechkin traditionally have stepped up when on the same stage. The former has notched five (two goals, three assists) of his 68 career points against the Capitals this season. The latter has two (both goals) of his 58 versus the Penguins in 2018-19. Crosby eclipsed the 1,200-point plateau last Tuesday. His rival, Ovechkin, has been stuck on 1,999 after being held off the scoresheet in each of Washington’s last two games. Former Pittsburgh forward Carl Hagelin stepped up by scoring the go-ahead goal on a breakaway in the second period of Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Winnipeg.
The Capitals are 41-27-7 on the season. Nicklas Backstrom has scored in three straight games. John Carlson set up Backstrom’s first-period goal on Sunday to become the third Washington defenseman to reach the 50-assist plateau in back-to-back seasons. He joined Hall of Famer’s Scott Stevens (1986-89) and Larry Murphy (1986-88). G Braden Holtby has turned aside 115 of 123 shots during his five-start winning streak.
The Penguins are 37-23-9 on the season. Jared McCann scored two goals for the second time in seven contests. They gave him eight (five goals, three assists) of his career-high 29 points in that stretch. Matt Murray has enjoyed a sterling eight-game run. He has allowed two goals or fewer in five of those contests. C Jake Guentzel, who leads the team with 34 goals, has five tallies and four assists in his last five games.
PREDICTION: Capitals 4, Penguins 3
NHL Betting Odds & Trends
|Washington is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games|
|Washington is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington’s last 5 games|
|Washington is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games on the road|
|Washington is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington’s last 6 games on the road|
|The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Washington’s last 14 games when playing Pittsburgh|
|Washington is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh|
|Washington is 5-10 SU in its last 15 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh|
|Pittsburgh is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games|
|Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games|
|Pittsburgh is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home|
|Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games at home|
|The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Pittsburgh’s last 14 games when playing Washington|
|Pittsburgh is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Washington|
|Pittsburgh is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games when playing at home against Washington|
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