Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals - 3/11/14
Washington Capitals (30-25-10) at Pittsburgh Penguins (42-17-4)
NHL Hockey: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm (Consol Energy Centre)
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -200 / Washington Capitals +181 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Penguins and Capitals complete a home and home series on Tuesday after the Pens took the first leg in Washington by a 3-2 final.
The Capitals were projected by many to challenge the Penguins for top spot in the newly formed Metropolitan division this season but with 22 games remaining in their schedule the Caps find themselves 20 points behind their rivals and battling just to make the playoffs. Washington hasn’t had the offensive prowess many thought they would despite another strong season from Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom and as such their performance has suffered and to me will be an easy out if they sneak into one of the final spots in the Eastern Conference. The Caps played a very tough game last night and perhaps deserved a better fate but it is the results in games like that that determine the quality of a team and it is clear who is the better of the two between Pittsburgh and Washington.
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The Penguins won their second straight game last night in Washington which has temporarily put them back on top of the Eastern Conference, leading the Bruins by a single point. Pittsburgh is loaded offensively and it is no secret that the team goes as Sidney Crosby goes but even when the odds on favourite to win the MVP award is having a night off they have the likes of Malkin, Neal, Kunitz, and Jokinen to pick up the slack. The only concern that remains for the Penguins at the moment is on the blue line as two of their top defenders are out of the lineup as Kris Letang recovers from a sudden stroke and Paul Martin is still out from a hand injury sustained in Sochi but when those guys come back the Pens have to be considered the favourite to win the Eastern Conference. While I don’t like taking a team to sweep its opponent on successive nights especially when they hate each other as much as Pittsburgh and Washington do I just don’t trust the Capitals on the back end against the stellar attack of the Pens.