Penguins can push Capitals to brink with Game 3 win
By Angelo Montilla
Here’s a look at Monday’s contest with odds courtesy of Bovada.
It’s déjà vu for the Washington Capitals, who find themselves two games down to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Penguins can virtually put this series away with a win on Monday night when they host the desperate Capitals in Game 3 at PPG Paints Arena. After winning two straight as the underdogs, the Pens are pegged as -140 favorites entering action on Monday night. The Capitals — +120 underdogs — can’t afford to go down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, especially considering the astronomical odds associated with pulling off such a comeback.
Pittsburgh’s offense is producing like a well-oiled machine, averaging 4.29 goals for per game in the playoffs. There was some panic early on when the Pens lost starting goalie Matt Murray to a lower-body injury. However Marc-Andre Fleury has been brilliant and is a huge reason why the Pens find themselves in a great position heading into Game 3.
The total goals projection for Monday night is 5.5, however don’t expect the offense on either side to slow down. Five of the last 10 meetings between the Metropolitan Division rivals have produced over outcomes.
The head-to-head history over the last 10 games has been all Pittsburgh, who have picked up seven victories against during that stretch. It hasn’t been for lack of trying on Washington’s part as the Capitals are averaging 35.3 shots per game and even outplayed the Penguins in the opening period of Game 2.
Pittsburgh hold a 3-2 record as the underdogs over their last three contests, while the Caps have posted a 4-3-2 record in the role of favorites.
Sidney Crosby has had Alex Ovechkin’s number for years and you can expect much of the same in Game 3 as the Pens will skate away with a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins (-140) and the over (5.5)