NHL Betting: Capitals to Edge Penguins as East Coast Rivalry Resumes


Washington and Pittsburgh's once absorbing rivalry may have cooled in the past season or so, but tonight may well be the night it reignites when they face off for the first time since realignment put them together in the Metro division.

Currently they look the two best teams within it and the outright lead has changed hands a few times over the past week. It's Washington who have the momentum though having only lost once in regulation over the past nine games.

Of course, Sidney Crosby versus Alex Ovechkin's history of bringing the best out of each other is what made this matchup so engrossing, when fired up they each can single-handedly force a result in their favour. An ability to put up quick goals makes the Caps a real danger team for Pittsburgh even though Marc-Andre Fleury is back playing well between the pipes, I'll make the case again too that they are a better defensive side when Kris Letang doesn't play.

The Penguins proved me wrong on Monday but Washington's record against them is good enough to make them well worth taking in this grudge match at 2.65.

Only one home record remains unblemished and it belongs to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. It will be a huge relief for them to back there tonight against New Jersey as a four-game road trip failed to yield a win - or more than two goals in a game - for an offence averaging way above that.

The Devils find themselves as massive outsiders tonight in spite of causing some shocks on their travels recently, and the general improvement of results.

Their defence is doing an admirable job, even without captain Bryce Salvador and Anton Volchenkov, and up the other end of the ice the likes of Dainius Zubrus and Ryan Carter have pretty much doubled their totals for the year in the space of a few games.

Contrastingly, Bruce Boudreau openly bemoaned the lack of scoring from anyone on his team not named Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry after the defeat two nights ago. He'll be hoping crowd support provides the cure. In 8 home outings the Ducks' goal difference is +22 and every facet of their game whether it be shots or special teams is massively improved, back them to overcome the handicap.

Best Bet: Washington Capitals to win at 2.65.