Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions – March 5th Edition

Posted by Michael Hunt on Monday,March 5, 2018 8:23, EDT in

Did you check out the Stadium Series game on Saturday night between the Maple Leafs and Capitals at the U.S. Naval Academy? It’s the last outdoor game of the season but won’t be the last ever at service academy. The league hopes to play games at Army’s West Point and the Air Force Academy over the next few years. Here are two NHL betting interesting matchups this week. Check back for the latest odds at our online sportsbook.

Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions – March 5th Edition

Washington Capitals at Anaheim Ducks

When: Tuesday, 10 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)

Next time the Capitals play an outdoor game, you may want to back them. They beat Toronto on Saturday 5-2 to improve to 3-0-0 all-time in outdoor games. Alex Ovechkin had a goal and has reached the 40-goal mark for the ninth time in his career. He’s up to 598 career. The Capitals captain is now the sixth player in NHL history to score 40 goals in a season nine times, joining Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Marcel Dionne, Mike Gartner and Mike Bossy. The Ducks enter the week on a two-game winning streak.

These have been two of the best teams in their respective conferences each of the past two seasons – in fact, each club has won its division at least two straight years so it would have surprised no one had they met in the Stanley Cup Finals, but neither made it. Washington could win the Metropolitan Division again, but Anaheim won’t be catching Vegas in the Pacific. Still, it’s not impossible we see a Caps-Ducks Finals come June.

These teams met in D.C. on Dec. 16 and the Caps won 3-2 in overtime. Washington had just 15 shots combined the first two periods and trailed 2-0. Nicklas Backstrom knocked in the rebound of a shot by Ovechkin at 3:05 of the third period, and Evgeny Kuznetsov tied it just over four minutes later, beating Anaheim goaltender John Gibson on the stick side with a shot from the left circle. Ovechkin scored on a slap shot at 1:58 of the extra session for the win. Braden Holtby had 28 saves for the Capitals. Derek Grant and Jakob Silfverberg scored for the Ducks, who were called for just one penalty. John Gibson had 24 saves in the loss.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers

When: Wednesday, 8 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)

Battle for Pennsylvania bragging rights and it could be a playoff preview – the Pens and Flyers are both battling the Capitals for the Metropolitan Division title. This is the third of four regular-season meetings, with the Penguins hosting the Flyers on March 25.

On Nov. 27 in Pittsburgh, the Penguins won 5-4 in overtime, a game the Flyers should have won. Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust scored 39 seconds apart early in the third to tie it, Jake Guentzel’s second of the night evened it again with 64 seconds left in regulation and Sidney Crosby’s deflection 1:48 into overtime won it. The Penguins finished with 52 shots in all. Crosby’s 11th career OT winner tied him with Mario Lemieux and Evgeni Malkin for most in franchise history. Matt Murray started the game in net but had to leave in the second period due to injury. Brian Elliott was in net for the Flyers – he’s currently hurt.

Are he Penguins a safe bet in the NHL odds this week?

How Was Their Last Encounter?

On Jan. 2 in Philly, the Penguins won 5-1 thanks to a four-goal second period. Ryan Reaves had a Gordie Howe hat trick – goal, assist and a fight. Reaves and Tom Kuhnhackl helped put the game away in the second period. Phil Kessel and Conor Sheary also scored in the second. Elliott allowed the four goals on just eight shots in the second period and was yanked for Michal Neuvirth in the third. Ironically, the Pens again lost a goaltender to injury in the second period – this time Tristan Jerry. Murray kept the Flyers scoreless the rest of the way.

Expect a big game from Crosby here as he has 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 29 career games at Philadelphia. The Penguins likely will remain without Murray. He’s currently dealing with a concussion. Should be Jerry in net. Jarry has now won six of his last eight decisions for the Penguins and is 11-5-2 with a 2.68 GAA and a .913 save percentage.

With Elliott and backup Michal Neuvirth both out for Philly, it has been rotating trade acquisition Petr Mrazek and Alex Lyon in net. The team also is without high-scoring right winger Wayne Simmonds (20 goals, 17 assists), who has an upper-body injury. The Flyers hope to get him back in two weeks.

Expert NHL Betting Predictions

Ducks beat the visiting Capitals, and Pittsburgh gets a big road win in Philly.