St. Louis Blues (31-13-4) at Washington Capitals (25-14-10)
|Date & Time||Sunday February 1, 2015, 1:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Washington Capitals / St. Louis Blues --- Over/Under:
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The Blues look to keep rolling with a win on Sunday as they head into Washington to face off against a Capitals side that has lost 6 of their last 10 games.
The St. Louis Blues continue to be one of the best teams in the NHL and with the trade deadline fast approaching we could see them add a few pieces to the mix to push them over the edge although I'm sure management might be a little tentative after that plan flopped miserably last year. The Blues have a ton of offensive depth and secondary contributors up front, something that was lacking on their roster a year ago and if they can continue to play at this level they'll be very tough to beat in a seven game series. The Blues have one of the best defensive units in hockey led by Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk and the goaltending tandem of Jake Allen and Brian Elliott has thrived in the split time system and while both have played well to this point it looks as though the latter will be the front runner to land more starts as the season moves along. The Blues are 12-9-2 on the road while the Caps are 13-5-5 at home and the matchup between the pipes will likely feature Elliott going up against Braden Holtby.
The Capitals are coming off a tough loss on the road against the Montreal Canadiens in which they earned a single point but couldn't solve Carey Price as they were blanked 1-0 leaving them in fourth place in the Metro division. The Caps are right in the playoff mix in the Eastern Conference though as they battle with the Rangers to determine the third automatic berth in the division and hold down a wild card spot so at the moment it looks like both teams will likely get in but Washington knows they have to keep up their solid play and get back to stringing winning streaks together so they can avoid playing either division winner in the first round. Washington has looked very good at times this season and a large part of that is because of Braden Holtby who is an absolute horse in the Washington crease and he'll have to be on point once again with the Blues in town. The line on this one is yet to come out as we await the goaltenders to be named but either way I think we see a great game between two playoff hopefuls. However, I think the defense of the Blues will be too much for the Caps to overcome and in the end I think St. Louis gets the nod in a tight game.