Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators will face each other in Wednesday’s action in the NHL 2021-22 season. The hosts want to stay in the playoffs zone, but they haven’t been too consistent lately. The away side plays its best hockey of the season and wants to continue in the same fashion.
Washington lost its last game on the home ice and wants to get back on the winning track. The home side wants to keep its playoffs bid under control. On the other hand, Nashville has enjoyed an excellent form, and they don’t want to stop here. The visitors have squeezed into the top four and don’t have the intention to slip down.
Washington Capitals – Can they stabilize their game?
The Capitals have had a pretty good campaign so far, as they are joint first in the Metropolitan Division with the Hurricanes, with an 18-6-7 record. However, their form hasn’t been too stable lately, as they booked only two wins on the previous five occasions. They go to this one after losing to the Kings 3-2 at home, despite having 35 shots in that game. Vitek Vanecek didn’t enjoy his time between the pipes in that game, conceding three times from 24 attempts and having a .875 save percentage.
Alex Ovechkin is still one of the best NHL players, leading the Capitals’ offense with 47 points and topping the team’s both stats columns. He scored 22 goals and made 25 assists, while Evgeny Kuznetsov has contributed with 30 points. John Carlson and Tom Wilson are the two skaters with 24+ points each, while seven more players have chipped in with 10+ points. On the other hand, Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek have split time between the pipes, making 16 appearances each. Both goalies have a 9.10 save percentage, while Washington has allowed 2.58 goals per game on average.
Expected Line-Up: Ilya Samsonov, Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson, Lars Eller, Alex Ovechkin, Garnet Hathaway
with best odds
Nashville Predators – Will their winning streak continue?
The Predators have been in the top form before the break as they celebrated seven victories in a row. That excellent run launched them to 2nd place in the Central Division with a 19-10-1 record, being just one point behind the top-placed Minnesota Wild. Nashville has been very dangerous when playing on the road, winning ten times in 16 outings. The latest win came against the Blackhawks away from home, where they celebrated a 3-2 overtime win. They held the rivals to only 19 attempts, and good defense led them to the victory.
Roman Josi has been Nashville’s most productive player with 29 points, while Mikael Granlund chipped in with 27 points and a team-high 22 assists. Matt Duchene is the Predators’ top scorer with 13 goals and a total of 25 points, while Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg have contributed with 22+ points each. Regarding the goaltending, Juuse Saros has been Nashville’s first-choice goalie, making 24 appearances so far. He has a very good .924 save percentage, allowing 2.22 goals per contest. With him between the pipes, the Predators have booked 15 wins so far.
Expected Line-Up: Juuse Saros, Mattias Ekholm, Alexandre Carrier, Tanner Jeannot, Filip Forsberg, Mikael Granlund
Expert Pick #1 – Predators to win (Inc. OT and Pen.) @+135
There’s a very juicy value in backing the dogs here since they’ve been in the best form of the season. They won’t have so many selection troubles, unlike the Capitals, who need to cope with the shortened rotation. I’ll take Nashville as my first pick on the plus money odds.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 5.5 @+100
Although Washington has been involved in many high-scoring matches this season, I don’t expect there will be more than five goals in this matchup. Nashville is very disciplined in the back, and three of their last four games stayed under the margin. Give me the Under here for the second bet to double the stake.
Expert Pick #3 – Capitals Under 3.5 @-145
Washington will miss some starters here, and they may have trouble finding the back of the net against the Predators. I don’t see them scoring more than three goals here, and although the odds are shorter compared to the first two picks, it can be a good alternative.