Pittsburgh At Washington NHL Game 1 Free Picks
There are certain teams in the NHL who have already proven that they have what it takes to navigate the regular season and the playoffs. Then there are those who are dominant in the regular season, but who seem to fold once the intensity goes up a notch in the postseason. Two teams that fall on either side of that equation will be hooking up in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and it’s fair to suggest that this series may well be a beauty. I am of course talking about the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. The Penguins have numerous Stanley Cup banners hanging in their building, and are also the current champions, while the Capitals have won the President’s Trophy for best regular season record in back to back years, yet they have been unable to translate that into any sort of playoff success. Will that trend continue this year, or while the Capitals finally get over the top and make it to the next step, which would be the Eastern Conference Final? Find the latest NHL betting predictions here.
In Depth Analysis On The Penguins At Capitals NHL Game 1 Free Picks
When: Thursday, April 27 at 7:30 PM EST
Where: Verizon Center, Washington
TV: NBCSN, SN, TVAS2
Live Stream: NHL.TV
NHL Odds: Washington Capitals -1½ (+225)
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins were dealt a very tough first round opponent in the Columbus Blue Jackets, but they made it look very easy indeed. The Penguins came about as close as you can get to delivering a sweep, but ended up settling for doing away with the Blue Jackets in 5 games. The offense was in top form in the opening round, scoring 21 goals in the 5 games. The Pens were dealt a tough blow, losing their starting goaltender to injury before a puck was even dropped in the series, but they got stellar work from backup Marc Andre Fleury, a guy that would probably be a starter on a host of other teams in this league. The Penguins played a pair of road games in Round 1, getting the split.
Why bet on the Washington Capitals
The Capitals survived their opening round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but they were made to work very hard for it over the 6 games. 5 of the 6 games in that series went to OT, and the sole game that was decided in regulation was also a single goal game. Things could very easily have gone the other way, but the Capitals need to get some credit for showing some grit in getting past what is a very exciting young Toronto squad. They are not as likely to get so fortunate if they keep the explosive Penguins hanging around in this series, though, so look for them to come out and try to get off to a fast start.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Penguins disposed of the Capitals in 5 games on their way to a Stanley Cup last season, but I do believe that this series will last a little longer. I expect this one to go the full 7 games, and I like the Pens to get the steal in Game 1.
Pittsburgh Penguins 5 Washington Capitals 3