Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins / NHL – The most interesting match of this round is definitely a duel between Washington and Pittsburgh, two teams that are in the top of the Eastern Conference. Both teams have the same number of points and are sharing the second place in the table. They are lagging three points compared to the first Columbus. How much this season in the Eastern Conference is interesting, is best shown by the fact that the fourth New York Rangers also have the same number of points as the Capitals and Penguins, while the fifth Montreal has just one point less. Begins: 12.01.2017. – 02:00 CET
Washington is in a great series and they are welcoming this match after six consecutive victories. In the previous period they showed the strength against the best teams in the league and it is certain that they are the top contenders for first place. With Columbus is now in the best shape, but they will have no easy task in this round. They are welcoming the current champions which in their ranks have the most efficient players in the league. Sidney Crosby is unstoppable this year and he is the biggest threat to the opponent’s goalkeeper. A t the end of last year, the Capitals have suffered two defeats in a row and have since then played very well.
Their positive series began with a victory over New Jersey Devils. They played the next three games at home. In the first match they defeated Ottawa, and then they were better than Toronto. In the third match, they admeasured forces with Columbus. The Capitals have in that match continued with great games. They recorded a convincing victory of 5:1, and thus ended the series of Blue Jackets which had 16 consecutive wins. After three matches at home, they were on a tour in the last two rounds, but that did not stop them to continue playing great. First they celebrated against Ottawa, and in the last round they defeated Montreal with high 1:4. With this victory, the Capitals have surpassed Canadiens on the table.
Whatever the form or place they play, there is no team that is the favourite against Pittsburgh. Conquerors of Stanley Cup have last season had perhaps the best individuals in the league and that is why they are the current champions. When Crosby is not in the mood, there are Malkin and Kessel who are also great danger for opponent’s goalkeepers and defence. Pittsburgh did not finish first after the regular championship last season, but they showed the most in the playoffs and in the end deservedly became the champions. At the end of last year, they experienced the worst defeat of the season. They lost to Columbus with an incredible 7:1.
It should be emphasized that they one round ago defeated New York Rangers with 7:2 at home. Therefore, this result against Columbus was a big surprise. However defeat by the Blue Jackets has not disrupted Penguins’ game. In the next five games, they have recorded as many wins. First they celebrated twice against the New Jersey Devils, and then they were better at home than Carolina, Montreal and Tampa Bay Lightning. Pittsburgh is by far the best home team in their conference. They only suffered four defeats at home, while they have no problems as guests. They are only in tenth place when it comes to playing away. They have experienced nine defeats in 17 games played.
Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins PICK
In the last nine home games, Washington has suffered only two defeats. The players of Columbus have felt the best how good the Capitals are at home, who experienced heavy defeat after incredible winning series. But Washington is welcoming the current champions in this round and they must play a superb game, if they want to achieve a positive result. Even though both teams are equally good, we give a slight advantage to the host from Washington, because of Pittsburgh’s poorer performance away.
Pick: Washington Capitals win
Odds: 1.75 at interwetten (down to 1.70 can be played)