Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals have the No. 1 seed locked up in the East. Now Washington sets its sights on sweeping the season series from the Penguins.
Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals make their final road stop during the regular season to take on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game that should have an intense playoff atmosphere.
Washington seems to have gotten a little bit of its swagger back by winning the past three games, including a 3-2 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins in the most recent game.
The Penguins also have gotten back on track after a rough stretch, and have won three of their past four games. In their last game, the Pens picked up a 4-3 overtime win over the Thrashers.
SBR Masters Matchups Contest
Just like all the other Capitals/Penguins games this year we should see a fast-paced and high chance game on both sides that should produce an 'over' winner.
The Capitals and Penguins have meet three times this season with Washington winning all three games in high scoring fashion on both sides. The first three games have yielded 7, 9 and 9 total goals respectively for 25 goals in only three games, and I would expect to see a lot of goals scored in this game as well.
Dating back to last year, which includes the playoffs, these two teams have gone 'over' the posted total in seven straight games and eight of the past 10 meetings overall. The 'over' is 7-1 in the last eight games in Pittsburgh, and regardless of location the 'over' is 34-16-1 in the past 51 head-to-head meetings.
Both teams have been able to score at will against the other this year. Washington has the number one seed locked up in the Eastern Conference and perhaps that's why the Caps look unmotivated as of late. The Capitals won their past three against the Bruins, Blue Jackets and Thrashers, but barely got by those teams and played to the 'under' in all of the games. In the stretch before that the Capitals were 5-2 to the 'over.'
Ovechkin gets yet another chance to go up against Crosby and Company. The Great Eight has five goals and three assists for eight points in the three games against the Penguins this year. Ovechkin really gets up for these games against Crosby and I expect the Capitals to step forward and put in their best effort tonight.
Pittsburgh still has something to play for in its final four games of the regular season. The Penguins, presently tied with the New Jersey Devils atop the Atlantic Division, can still get the number two seed in the Eastern Conference.
Each team has four games remaining to play. The Penguins have gone 'over' the posted total in three of their last five games. The Penguins are also healthy for the first time in a long while.
Both teams come into this contest averaging three goals per game over the past five games. Also, goaltending has been inconsistent on both sides lately with each team having save percentages under .900 and both not defending well on the penalty kill.
Pick: Washington/Pittsburgh 'over'