Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets NHL Picks & Predictions 4/17/2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Get todays NHL hockey odds on this game.
For bettors, there's not a more dangerous team in the NHL playoffs than the Washington Capitals. They can beat any team in the field or lose to any team in the field on any given day, and coming into the postseason no team has as much boom or bust potential as the Caps.
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At the moment, it looks like another "bust" for Washington. These perpetual postseason losers are down 2-0 to Columbus in their first round series. Playoff underachieving is nothing new for Washington, which hasn't made it past the second around since 2012.
Washington will try to earn their first win of the postseason when they take on Columbus at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17 at Nationwide Arena. The host Blue Jackets have opened at -135 and the total is set at 5.5.
Columbus stole the first two games of this series in Washington, winning each game in overtime. The Blue Jackets were outshot 58-30 in Game 2, but used a three-goal eruption in the second period and a Matt Calvert score in the extra period to earn the victory and take complete control of the series.
Now the Jackets are back home, where they went 26-12 during the regular season. They have now beaten the Capitals in three straight meetings, taking them down 5-1 in on Feb. 26 in their last meeting at Nationwide Arena.
The Capitals are down, but are they out? This team still has as much talent as anyone in the NHL. They know it is nearly impossible to come from behind a 3-0 series deficit so Washington will be throwing everything they have at Columbus on Tuesday.
Valuable Washington Capitals Betting Trends
The Capitals are 5-0 in their last 5 road games.
The Capitals are 17-5 in their last 22 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
The Capitals are 10-4 in their last 14 vs. Eastern Conference.
The Capitals are 12-5 in their last 17 overall.
The Capitals are 69-29 in their last 98 games playing on 1 days rest.
Important Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Trends
The Blue Jackets are 11-1 in their last 12 vs. Eastern Conference.
The Blue Jackets are 15-4 in their last 19 overall.
The Blue Jackets are 7-3 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record.
The Blue Jackets are 55-27 in their last 82 home games.
Key Washington Capitals Injuries
04/15/18 LW Andre Burakovsky is questionable (Upper Body)
04/15/18 C Travis Boyd is questionable (Illness)
Key Columbus Blue Jackets Injuries
04/15/18 C Alexander Wennberg (Upper Body)
04/8/18 LW Lukas Sedlak is out indefinitely (Head)
Alex Ovechkin is one of the best hockey players in the world. And it is tough to knock a guy that has two of Washington's goals in this series. But the Capitals need a superhuman effort from their superstar tonight if they want to claw their way back into this series. Ovechkin had more shots than the next two Caps combined during the regular season. He will need to show that same degree of aggression tonight.
Artemi Panarin is far from a household name, but he has been dynamite through the first two games of this series. Panarin led Columbus in scoring during the regular season - by a wide margin - and has played to his strength so far in the playoffs, tallying five points and doling out four assists. Washington has had no answer for the left winger, who has racked up his five points while using just four shots. The Caps will be shifting their defense to slow Panarin down. How Panarin, and the Jackets, respond could determine this game.
Who will win tonight's Capitals/Blue Jackets NHL game against the spread?
There is absolutely no denying that Washington is the more motivated team in this one. Their proverbial backs are against the wall and they should be playing with reckless abandon tonight. The problem is, I don't think it will matter. Washington is a playoff failure every year; why would this postseason be any different? On top of that, Columbus is not some pushover team. They won just four fewer games than the Caps during the regular season and can match them on both ends of the ice. The Blue Jackets also have momentum and a sizeable home ice advantage working for them. I know it seems unthinkable that Washington could fall behind 3-0 in this series. But this group of Capitals has been exceptionally predictable over the last five years. And I can see them losing again here.
Robert's Pick: Take Columbus -135
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