Washington at Pittsburgh Game 4 NHL Playoffs Betting Odds & Prediction

Posted by Peter Boysen on May 2, 2017 in

The whole tenor of the Eastern Conference semifinal between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins changed on Monday night, as Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen cross-checked Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby in the head about 5 minutes into the first period, sending him to the locker room for the duration. The Capitals opened up a 2-0 lead, and despite a Pittsburgh rally that tied the game at 2-2 in the waning moments of the third period, Kevin Shattenkirk scored for Washington just over three minutes into overtime to give the Caps their first win of this series. Will Crosby return for Game 4? Will he return at all? Who’s got the edge in the NHL odds for Game 4?

Washington at Pittsburgh Game 4 NHL Playoffs Betting Odds & Prediction

When: Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 7:30pm
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
TV: NBC Sports
Radio: Washington / Pittsburgh
Live Stream: NHL.tv
NHL Odds: Capitals at  -1½

Why should you bet on the Capitals?

The Penguins have a lot of talent, but Crosby is definitely the apex of their offense. One thing that the Washington Capitals are known for is collapsing in the playoffs — after all, they fell in the conference semifinals to these same Penguins last year, and they looked like they were headed to a similar fate after dropping the first two games at home. With Crosby off the ice, the game slowed down considerably and took on more of a grinding flair — developments that favor the Capitals Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetzov picked up goals for Washington, but even with Crosby in the locker room, the Capitals almost lost. Can they hold off an angry Penguins team on Wednesday?

Why should you put your money on the Penguins?

Even with Crosby out for the vast majority of the game, the Penguins still almost won. Those late goals by Justin Schultz and Evgeni Malkin had PPG Paints Arena rocking, and it took a real effort from Washington to finish regulation without yielding another goal and then to get the game-winner in the extra frame. Braden Holtby has not looked like an All-Star goalie at any point in this series. You can also expect the rest of the Penguins — who have rallied to fill the gaps when other players have gone down to injury this season — to have plenty of motivation against the team that used such a blow to take down their captain. Crosby’s diagnosis is still unknown at this time, but he does have a history in the concussion protocol, and that pair of blows to the head — a high stick from Ovechkin that liberated several teeth from Crosby’s mouth and then the cross-check from Niskanen — could easily have put him back into it. Check the latest information about his injury before locking in your bet.

Betting Pick and Final Score Prediction

Even if Sidney Crosby doesn’t return for Pittsburgh, I see the Penguins using his absence as motivation to deliver a big win in Game 4. If he does return, I see the Penguins turning this into a rout. I’m predicting a 4-2 Pittsburgh win.