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Penguins at Capitals Game 1 - 4/28/16 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals

NHL Hockey: Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Verizon Center)

The Line: Penguins / Capitals --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: NBCSN

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals play game one of their series Thursday night at the Verizon Center.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off a quick five-game series against the New York Rangers. The Pittsburgh Penguins are averaging 2.9 goals per game and are scoring on 18.4 percent of their power plays. Patric Hörnqvist leads Pittsburgh with four goals, Sidney Crosby has five assists and Phil Kessel has 20 shots on goal. Defensively, the Pittsburgh Penguins are allowing 2.4 goals per game and are killing 84.4 percent of their power play chances. Jeff Zatkoff has allowed six goals on 65 shots faced and Matt Murray has given up four goal on 89 shots. Zatkoff has given up eight goals in his last three games.

Penguins at Capitals Game 1 - 4/28/16 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals are coming off a six-game series against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Washington Capitals are averaging three goals per game and are scoring on 21.9 percent of their power plays. John Carlson leads Washington with three goals, Nicklas Backstrom has five assists and Alex Ovechkin has 29 shots on goal. Defensively, the Washington Capitals are allowing 2.3 goals per game and are killing 85.1 percent of their power play chances. Braden Holtby has allowed five goals on 154 shots faced. Holtby has given up three goals in his last three games.

The Penguins are 10-1 in their last 11 road games and 35-17 in their last 52 Thursday games. The Capitals are 37-14 in their last 51 vs. Eastern Conference and 7-16 in their last 23 Conference Semifinals games. The Penguins are 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Washington and 12-5 in the last 17 meetings overall.

The Penguins have pretty much owned the Capitals over the years, including six wins in their last eight trips in Washington. However, I usually like to side with the home team in game one due to both teams feeling the series out and the home team usually has the advantage in the first matchup. I think Washington shows up with its heavy hitters and finds a way to strike first blood. 

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Washington Capitals

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