Over the past decade or so, it can be argued that the two best players in the NHL have been Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. This pair have dominated the scoring charts during their brilliant careers, but there is one thing that clearly separates this duo, and that is Stanley Cups. Crosby has hoisted the Stanley Cup trophy twice, while Ovechkin has been forced to endure a staggering number of playoff disappointments. While it would have been nice to see these two go head to head in the Eastern Conference final this year, we are going to have to settle for seeing it happen in the second round. The Penguins are determined to defend their crown, while the Capitals are trying to put years of playoff frustration in the rearview by winning it all this season. It is advantage to the Penguins right now, as they drew first blood in the series, winning Game 1 on the road in Washington. This is a series that is a long way from over, though, as I believe this one will go the full 7 games. Game 2 of the series is set for Saturday night in Washington. Find the updated NHL betting odds here.
Analyzing The Penguins At Capitals NHL Game 2 Betting Lines & TV Info
When: Saturday, April 29 at 8 PM EST
Where: Verizon Center, Washington
Live Stream: NHL.TV
NHL Odds: Washington Capitals -1½ (+210)
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins
Hockey fans were quite sure that the Penguins were going to have their hands full with the Columbus Blue Jackets in Round 1, but the defending champions put on a magnificent offensive display that helped them win that series in 5 games. In this round, the feeling was that Pittsburgh were going to struggle without the injured Kris Letang, yet they went into the Verizon Center in Game 1 and came away with a gritty 3-2 win that allows them to steal home ice advantage away from the Capitals. Sidney Crosby was magnificent in the opening game, scoring twice, and generally taking the game by the scruff of the neck. This team knows what it takes to win, and it looks as though they are gearing up for another big run.
Why bet on the Washington Capitals
No-one is really quite sure why the Washington Capitals struggle so badly once the playoffs get underway. This is a team loaded with talent at both ends of the ice, yet they always seem ill-prepared for playoff hockey. The Capitals had to fight tooth and nail to get past the Toronto Maple Leafs in 6 games in the opening round, and despite playing well enough in Game 1 of this series, they still came up short. Taking that loss is going to allow us to see what this team is really made of, and you get the sense that if they lose the second game, their fragility may once again be exposed, with an early exit the end result.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
My belief before this series began was that it would go the full 7 games, and nothing has changed after Game 1. The Penguins are guaranteed a split on the road, and I think that is exactly what they will get, as I like the Caps to bounce back in Game 2.