Pittsburgh Penguins will take on Washington Capitals in Tuesday’s action of the NHL 2021-22. The hosts look forward to ending their losing run against the division rivals. The away side has been inconsistent lately, and they want to stabilize their form.
Pittsburgh has had a rough week, and they seek an improvement against another tough opponent. Nevertheless, the home side is still comfortable in the top-four zone. On the other hand, Washington wants to get back in the race for the pole position. The visitors need to improve their game to get back in the race for the top spot.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Can they end their losing run?
A couple of tough games are behind the Penguins, and they go to this one after three straight losses. Nevertheless, they are still third in the Metropolitan Division with a 23-16-7 record, and the hosts are four points ahead of their upcoming rivals. However, Pittsburgh suffered all three defeats on the home ice, and the latest one came against the Kings. Their defense allowed too many shots to Los Angeles – 38 – and a 4-3 loss was inevitable. Bryan Rust scored a brace for the Penguins, but they needed more efficient players in the offense.
Jake Guentzel has contributed the most to Pittsburgh’s offense this season, scoring a team-high 23 goals and having a total of 43 points. Kris Letang has 40 points, while he’s the best assistant of the team with 35. Sidney Crosby has produced 38 points, Evan Rodrigues and Bryan Rust have 30+ points each, while two other skaters chipped in with 20 points or more. Regarding the goaltending, Tristan Jarry has spent most of the time between the pipes, making 36 appearances. He has allowed only 2.17 goals per game while having a .925 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Tristan Jarry, Kris Letang, Brian Dumoulin, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust
with best odds
Washington Capitals – Will they beat their fierce rivals?
The Capitals have been running hot and cold lately, and they haven’t managed to stabilize their form over the previous two months. They slipped to fourth place in the Metropolitan Division with a 24-12-9 record after winning only four times on the last ten occasions. However, the Caps head to this encounter after beating the Stars 5-0 on the road. Vitek Vanecek was unbeatable between the pipes, stopping all 29 opponent’s shots. On the other hand, Nicklas Backstrom was Washington’s key man in the offense, scoring once and providing a pair of assists.
Alex Ovechkin has been the most productive player for the Capitals, having 58 points and topping the goalscoring charts with 29. Evgeny Kuznetsov is the team’s best assistant with 30, while he has contributed with 43 points. John Carlson and Tom Wilson managed to reach the 30-point mark, while two other skaters chipped in with 20 points each. On the goal, Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov split their time, allowing 2.67 goals per contest and having a .910 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Ilya Samsonov, Dmitry Orlov, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Lars Eller, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov
Expert Pick #1 – Capitals to win (Inc OT and Pen.) @+140
It’s a clash between the two fierce division rivals, and although neither side has been confident lately, I’ll back the visitors. Pittsburgh comes from a tough week, and the plus money odds on the Capitals are very attractive. Therefore, I’ll take Washington as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 5.5 @+100
The Under cashed three times in the Penguins’ last five games, while the Caps’ previous four matches stayed under the margin. Although their head-to-head encounters have been pretty efficient lately, I anticipate a tight game with a low number of goals. That’s why I’m going with the Under as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Penguins Under 3.5 @-150
Although their form is unstable, Washington’s defense has been pretty tight recently. The Caps allowed more than three goals just once on the previous six occasions. I expect another disciplined performance from their defense, which should be enough to hold the Penguins under a 3.5 margin. I’ll go with this pick as my second alternative for this matchup.