NHL Playoff Preview: Washington at Pittsburgh, Game 6
On Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Washington Capitals in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinal. The Penguins are up in the series 3-2, but the Capitals showed a new fire in a 3-1 win on Saturday night. Alex Ovechkin was a wrecking crew all by himself, scoring a power play goal, assisting on T.J. Oshie’s tally and simply causing chaos all over the ice. Find the latest NHL odds here.
NHL Playoff Preview: Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 6
When: Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 8:00pm Eastern time
Where: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh
Radio: WXDX 105.9 The X Pittsburgh
Live Stream: NHL-Stream.com
NHL Odds: TBA
Why should you bet on Washington?
Stanley Cup lore is filled with stories of captains who pushed their games to a new level to inspire their teammates. One of the best examples of this happened in 1994, when the New York Rangers trailed the New Jersey Devils 3 games to 2 in the Eastern Conference semifinals and headed to New Jersey for Game 6. Captain Mark Messier famously guaranteed a victory for the Rangers and then tallied a hat trick in that game to propel the Rangers to a win. They won that series in seven games and then won the Stanley Cup Finals to win their first title since 1940.
Ovechkin played much the same way. Oshie and Justin Williams added the other goals, but the most important change in the Caps’ game was a new commitment to physicality and defense. The Penguins were finally unable to find the space that had really been theirs to use as they saw fit since Game 1. Braden Holtby took advantage of the fact that the Pens had to shoot from shorter angles, making 30 saves. If these Capitals go to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, the Penguins’ incredible run could be in jeopardy.
Why should you put your money on the Penguins?
Matt Murray has been a solid goalie all postseason for the Penguins — until Game 5. He is a rookie backup netminder playing in the biggest games of his life, waiting for Marc-Andre Fleury to recover from complications from a concussion, and so far he has stood on his head. But then came a bad rebound that ended up on Oshie’s stick in Game 5. The fact that Brian Dumoulin committed a ghastly turnover in the second period, leading to Williams’ easy goal in the second period, didn’t help. These factors made a big difference, and if Murray is still doubtful in Game 6, this could be a long night. However, he has shown confidence all postseason, and there’s no reason to think he won’t fight off the adversity.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Can the Penguins respond to the Capitals’ resurgence? I like the Caps to take the momentum into Pittsburgh and force a Game 7. I’m predicting a 4-3 Washington win.