NHL Playoff Preview: Pittsburgh at Washington, Game 5
On Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be in Washington for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal. Despite leading the entire NHL in points for the regular season, the Capitals now find themselves just one more loss away from elimination, as the Penguins posted a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. Patric Hornqvist found himself the beneficiary of a bad clear by the Capitals and then sent the puck right by Braden Holtby just 2:34 into overtime to seal the win. Find the updated NHL odds here.
NHL Playoff Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals, Game 5
When: Saturday, May 7, 2016, 7:15pm Eastern time
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Radio: Caps Radio 24/7
Live Stream: NHL-Stream.com
NHL Odds: TBA
Why should you bet on Pittsburgh?
The Penguins beat the New York Rangers in five games, and they have a real shot at doing the same thing to the Capitals. Remember that the Caps won Game 1 and now have lost three in a row. The Penguins won with their best defenseman, Kris Letang, out with a one-game suspension. Olli Maatta, another key defenseman, was on the scratch list with an upper-body injury. That meant that the Capitals should have had plenty of space in which to operate, but they didn’t take advantage, and now they will face a Penguins lineup that has Letang back, and Maatta might be back — he’s still a day-to-day decision.
Why should you put your money on the Capitals?
The Capitals started Game 4 by trying to send three forwards on a deep forecheck, but all the Penguins did was wait to get the puck and then exploit the gaps that having just two men back left. The Caps did not have their physicality in Game 4 — they really haven’t had it that much since Game 2 — and they are not playing with much aggressiveness. The fact that they sent this game to overtime at all is a testament to their sheer skill. If they can get that intensity now that they face elimination, they should be able to get closer in this series.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I like the Capitals to find that extra gear with their collective backs against the wall. I’m picking a 4-2 Washington win.