Expect a very fast paced matchup between the Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers. Both teams have a real need to emerge with two points.
Despite the 5-1 scoreline looking convincing I thought Washington didn't get the bounces in the loss to Colorado at the weekend. On the same night Edmonton came within a minute of a first win but crumbled to the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime for an eventual 6-5 defeat.
Dallas Eakins sent a clear message to Nail Yakupov by making him a healthy scratch on Saturday. Yakupov had no points through the first four games having been expected to build on his rookie year.
The rest of their offence is finding its feet though after the return of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the lineup, but the Oilers continue to ship goals in alarming fashion.
If I were to have a criticism of Washington, Alex Ovechkin could do with some support in finding the net. Mikhail Grabovski is the only other with more than one goal and his trio came in a hat-trick performance. Take the Capitals in this one for sure. I think they can manage with a handicap too.
Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings make a return to TD Garden today where they were on the receiving end of an authoritative display at the hands of Boston only nine days ago.
The Bruins secured a 4-1 on that occasion in what's been the best effort of their young season to this point. Tuukka Rask and their defensive core have excelled consistently.
Rookie Torey Krug was a revelation for the B's in the playoffs and hasn't missed a step in his first regular season - including being named first star of that prior contest. His shot and puck moving skills have also improved their powerplay threat considerably.
Mike Babcock's Red Wings have never been a physical team - much to their credit - but heading into Boston without enforcer Jordin Tootoo plus other influential depth players Patrick Eaves and Darren Helm makes the task that much tougher. Keep this one in the Bruins' safe hands to win at 2.00.
Back the Washington Capitals to overcome -1.5 handicap at 2.70
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