There are certain playoff match-ups that appear destined to go the full 7 games before the first puck is dropped, but the certainty of a long series can go out the window once the action begins. Most NHL pundits, myself included, believed that the second round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals was one that was sure to go the distance. After all, these are a pair of teams that play in the same division, and who know each other better than most other teams.
This thing started out with the Penguins in full control, tough, and when they took a 3-1 series lead, the consensus was that we were about to witness yet another disappointing early exit for the Capitals. All of that is now out the window, with the Caps winning back to back games to take this series to a game 7, which will be played in their own building on Wednesday night. Can the defending champions stay alive, or will the Capitals complete the great escape?
Analyzing The Penguins At Capitals NHL Game 7 Betting Odds & TV Info
When: Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 PM EST
Where: Verizon Center, Washington
Live Stream: NHL.TV
NHL Odds: Washington Capitals -1½ (+170)
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins
Did this series turn after Sidney Crosby sustained an injury that forced him out in the first period of Game 3? Sure, the Penguins won the next game without Crosby in the line-up, but he has been ineffective since returning for the last two games, notching just 2 assists. The more likely scenario is that the Penguins took the foot of the gas, believing that they had this series in the bag after taking a 3-1 lead against a team that has proven to be soft in the postseason. The big question now Is whether the defending champions are going to be able to get back up to the speed that helped them build up that early lead in the first place.
Why bet on the Washington Capitals
It’s easy to talk about the failure of the Penguins to put this series away, but you have to give credit to a Washington Capital team that has shown some real grit in the past two games. This is a team that had been given the “soft” label after multiple early playoff exits, and it certainly looked as though it was going to be more of the same through the first 4 games of this series. As good as their comeback has been so far, you can bet it will be forgotten if they fail to complete the task by losing in Game 7 in their own building. If the Capitals can go on to win this series, they will almost certainly become the favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
While all the momentum is now with the Capitals, you still get the feeling that they are going to find a way to blow it. Keep in mind that coach Barry Trotz has never taken a team beyond the second round. Penguins win and move on.