Date/Time: March 11th, 7:30 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
A showdown of two Metropolitan Division teams awaits a national audience on Tuesday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Washington Capitals on NBC Sports Network at 7:30 p.m. ET on the ice inside CONSOL Energy Center.
The Capitals got together with the Penguins on Monday night and had their chances to win in a 3-2 loss on their home ice. This will be the end of the home-and-home series between these division rivals. Washington has lost its three previous meetings with Pittsburgh including Monday’s loss. The Caps have the No. 2 power play in the league scoring 23.2 percent of the time when they get the man advantage. On Monday that unit scored once on four chances and emptied the net for a six-on-four advantage as they failed to score the equalizer in the final moments. The offense has been led by RW Alexander Ovechkin who has 67 points this season on 44 goals and 23 assists. However, Ovechkin has been shutout in his L/3 outings and will look to get out of the slump in this game. This team scores 2.8 goals per game while giving up 2.9 goals per game. The ‘under’ has cashed in the L/3 games for the Caps which is a very uncharacteristic trend for this squad that had hit the ‘over’ in the four games prior to this current streak.
The Penguins managed to hold off the Capitals with the efforts of their solid penalty killing unit on Monday. This team owns the league’s best special teams units with a group of penalty killers that stop opponents 86.9 percent of the time while the power play unit scores on 25.6 percent of their chances. Pittsburgh C Sidney Crosby was a part in all three goals Monday as he had a goal and two assists in the win. Crosby leads the league with 87 points on 30 goals and 57 assists this season. The Pens have the best record in the Metropolitan Division at 43-17-4 SU. Winners in three of its L/4 games, Pittsburgh seems to have found its stride since a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field back on March 1st. Pens G Marc-Andre Fleury got the night off Monday and is expected to be in net for this game. Fleury has the most wins for any net minder in the NHL at 33-14-3 SU. Pittsburgh has been solid on its home ice this season going 23-4-2 SU in those games as it tries for the season sweep of Washington.
The Penguins are just a very hard team to beat this season, especially when they’re facing a fellow Metropolitan Division team. They are running away with the division title and will continue to dominate as long as their stars stay healthy. Look for another big game from Crosby in this one and for Pittsburgh to get another victory over Washington. We feel that the Caps will keep it close, but the Penguins will be just too much for them to handle once again.
Washington Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins
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