*10* SUPER POWER ~ 67% NHL Run!
Washington vs. Pittsburgh,
02/02/2018 19:00 EDT,
Score: 4 - 7
Money Line: -146 Pittsburgh
10* Pittsburgh (7:05 ET): Not to continuously beat a "dead horse," but the Metropolitan really is a deep and interesting division this season. It's pretty clear that the division will be sending five teams to the playoffs. But outside of first place Washington, who will the other four be? We've currently got seven teams separated by just five points in the standings. The hottest of the bunch is Pittsburgh, who has won three straight to move into third place. The Pens are also 8-2 their L10 games. Tonight, they look to wrap up a perfect homestand with a visit from the aforementioned Caps. This is a really big game for the defending Stanley Cup Champs and one I believe they'll win. They've won 8 of the last 11 times hosting Washington.
Getting this one on home ice is a pretty big deal for the Pens. They've won six in a row at home, tying a season-best streak. The last two games have seen them score 11 goals and over the course of the six-game win streak, they've outscored the opposition by greater than a 2:1 margin at 29-14. Over a quarter of their remaining games will be played w/o rest, so taking advantage of the day off here is paramount. I would anticipate this veteran outfit "turning it on" in February. Their shot per game differential is one of the best in the league, indicating better fortune should be forthcoming. They also have the league's top power play at 26.7%. I just can't see opposing goaltenders continuing to maintain a .942 even strength save percentage against the Pens.
Though they currently have a five-point edge on the field, the Caps are by no means dominating their division. In fact, they are just 9-4-3 against the rest of the Metro (Pittsburgh is 10-4 SU). Like Pittsburgh, the Caps came out of the All-Star Break and won, 5-3 over Philadelphia. But something certainly worth noting is Washington has a losing road record while being outshot and outscored. Pittsburgh's goals per game average jumps to 3.5 at home, which is pretty significant (about a full goal more per game) compared to what they average on the road. The Caps' penalty killing unit (ranked 17th) is below average, so the chances of being exploited by the Pens' top-ranked PP unit are pretty strong here. 10* Pittsburgh