Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 4 Preview
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
When: Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 7:30 PM ET
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Betting on the Washington Capitals
Call the Capitals as these playoffs’ overtime warriors. Washington outlasted the Penguins in Game 3 with a 3-2 win on Monday in what turned out to be the sixth game this postseason that the Caps have played past regulation time.
Kevin Shattenkirk finally came alive in this series when he scored the winner in Game 3. Prior to the game, the Caps’ prized trade deadline acquisition had a minus-seven rating over his previous eight postseason contests. Shattenkirk’s Game 3 performance is just what Washington has been waiting for from him with the Caps needing all hands on deck to keep in step with the Penguins’ offense, especially with Braden Holtby not playing consistently enough.
Holtby recovered from a bad Game 2 performance in which he was pulled after surrendering three goals on 14 shots faced by turning in a much better play in Game 3, making 28 saves on 30 shots. Holtby, however, allowed those two goals late in the game so issues remain for the Vezina Trophy candidate.
With momentum now on their side, the Caps will look to take advantage of the absence of Sidney Crosby for the Penguins. Crosby has been declared out for Game 4 due to concussion he suffered in Game 3.
Betting on the Pittsburgh Penguins
There’s no need to push the panic button for the Penguins. While they failed to bury the Caps in a 3-0 hole and saw their best player in Crosby hurt, the Penguins are still in fine shape.
If there’s one area where the Penguins could be better, though, it’s their penalty killing. They’ve allowed Washington to score three of its last four goals on the power play, including Shattenkirk’s game winner last Monday. Marc-Andre Fleury has been generally outstanding in stuffing opponents’ offense in these playoffs though.
Through eight games in the postseason, Fleury has gone 6-2 with a 2.44 GAA and .933 SV%. The Penguins are 7-3 in Fleury’s last 10 starts at home.
Without Crosby, the Pens could inset Evgeni Malkin in the first line. Malkin has four goals and 11 assists so far in the postseason. Jake Guentzel, meanwhile, still leads the Pens with 7 playoff goals to go with three assists.
Pittsburgh tops all teams this postseason with 4.00 goals per game.
Washington (-125) wins, 4-2.
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