Free NHL Picks: Sharks at Capitals Odds
by George Monroy - 1/13/2014
The San Jose Sharks have alternated wins and losses over their last eight games but will be looking flex their muscle this week as they play three straight road games against the Eastern Conference. The team is currently sitting in the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoff standings but trails the Anaheim Ducks by 13 points for the Pacific Division lead. The Sharks had a six-game home winning streak snapped during their last matchup and hope to get back on track during Tuesday night’s game against the Washington Capitals.
Washington is set to close out a three-game homestand against the Sharks after splitting the first two games and losing in shootouts to the lowly Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. The Capitals are about to enter a stretch where they will play eight of their next nine matchups on the road, and they can’t afford to throw away easy wins—especially in a tight Eastern Conference playoff race where the fourth through eighth seeds are all separated by only two points.
Sharks at Capitals Betting Story Lines
San Jose is coming off a close loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday where the team played well, but it was the unfortunate recipient of a dominant performance from Boston’s goaltender, Tuukka Rask. Sharks’ goaltender Antti Niemi played a great game as well, allowing only one goal on 22 shot attempts. Niemi has been solid over his last five starts and has given up only nine goals on 113 shot attempts.
The Sharks have not won consecutive games since a four-game winning streak that ended Dec. 29. Joe Thornton, the team’s point’s leader, has four assists over his last five games, while the team’s leading scorer, Joe Pavelski, has four goals during that same span. Overall, San Jose ranks fifth in goals per game with 3.1 and 11th in goals allowed and power-play percentage.
The Capitals are still trying to shake off the disappointment Sunday’s shootout loss to the Sabres. The team took 29 shots during the game but was only able to score one goal throughout the night. Washington’s team captain, Alex Ovechkin, took six shots during 21 minutes of action, yet he was unable to score a goal against the Sabres. Ovechkin has five points during his last five games, while Washington’s point’s leader, Nicklas Backstrom, has one goal and three assist during his last five games.
Sharks at Capitals NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
San Jose opened as a -136 road moneyline favorite over the +124 underdog Capitals at BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “over” being favored at -131. San Jose is 5-1 over its last six games after scoring two goals or less in the previous matchup and 2-5 over its last seven games played on two day of rest. The team is also 1-4 against the Eastern Conference and has gone “under” during its last four games.
Washington is 0-5 during its recent games played on one day of rest and 0-4 after allowing two goals or fewer in the previous game. The team is 2-5 during its last seven overall games and 8-3 over its last 11 Tuesday games. Head-to-head, the Sharks are 16-1 during the last 17 meetings and 8-1 during the last nine games in Washington. The home team has won five of the last seven matchups, but four of those wins came from San Jose.
Free NHL Picks: Sharks at Capitals Predictions
San Jose has dominated Washington during the last few seasons and seems to be primed for another win over the Capitals. However, the Sharks have not won back-to-back games in nearly three weeks and seem content to sit in the fourth spot in the Western Conference. Washington, on the other hand, is probably still feeling the sting of giving away an easy game to Buffalo last week. San Jose is the better team in this matchup, but there is excellent value on getting a talented Capitals teams as a home underdog. Expect Washington to enter Tuesday’s game looking to erase the memory of Sunday’s loss and prove that it can keep up with the elite teams in the league. Take the Capitals and the positive moneyline payout.
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