Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 6 Preview
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Monday, May 8, 2017, 7:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBCSN
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Betting on the Washington Capitals (+1.5)
On the brink of another relatively early playoff exit, the Washington Capitals pulled through in the clutch on Saturday to extend their best-of-seven series against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 4-2 victory.
Down by a goal in the final period, the Capitals scored three unanswered goals when they needed them most. Niklas Backstrom tied the game with his third goal in four games, then Evgeny Kuznetsov put Washington ahead with the go-ahead score for his career-best eighth point in the playoffs. Captain Alex Ovechkin then added an insurance goal less than 30 seconds after Kusnetsov found the back of the net.
So far, the Caps have been very prolific on the attack, having outshot the Penguins in every game this series by an average of nearly seven more shots taken. Ovie and Co. will need to keep their offense at a high level up in Game 6 in Pittsburgh, lest they want to end up in a similar situation in last year’s playoff meeting with the Pens.
The last time out, the Penguins also had a 3-2 lead in their second-round series against the Caps and didn’t force a Game 7 anymore en route to the Eastern Conference Finals. Sadly for the Caps, we’re inclined to believe that deja vu is about to happen this Monday due to a number of reasons in favor of their opponent. Which leads us to…
Betting on the Pittsburgh Penguins (-1.5)
The Pittsburgh Penguins couldn’t seal the deal over the weekend, but they should still be confident that they can close out the series at home in Game 6.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped just 28 of Washington’s 32 shots on in Game 5, which includes three goals allowed on just five shots in less than five minutes in the third period. Fleury must’ve been too lackadaisical in that final frame with his team up by a goal, especially considering that the Penguins went a spectacular 37-1-1 in the regular season and a perfect 6-0 in the playoffs when they had the lead after two periods.
And despite Washington’s relentless offense, Pittsburgh can still take comfort from the fact that help has arrived earlier than expected, as team captain Sidney Crosby and right wing Conor Sheary both returned to the ice in Game 5 coming off their respective concussions.
Both Crosby and Sheary add some much-needed firepower in suppor of teammate Phil Kessel, who scored one of the Pens’ two goals on Saturday for his third goal of the series. Crosby’s return, in particular, is very critical given that he’s one of his team’s four players to have 12 or more points this postseason.
Apart from having last year’s second-round result on their side as mentioned earlier, the Penguins will likely take full advantage of playing at PPG Paints Arena for one last time in this series. They’re 5-1 at home in six playoff games this year, having outscored their opponents by a whopping 21-10 margin.
The Penguins (-120) have history repeat itself by eliminating the Capitals again in six games, 4-2.
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