NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Bruins vs. Capitals (April 10)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Bruins vs. Capitals (April 10) article feature image

Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jake DeBrusk.

  • In what's close to a pick'em, the Bruins head to D.C. to face the Capitals.
  • Boston seemingly has the edge over the Caps, having won the first matchups this season.
  • Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and makes her betting pick below.

Bruins vs. Capitals Odds

Bruins Odds-115
Capitals Odds-105
Over/Under6 (-105/-115)
Time1:30 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Boston Bruins will get a chance to further solidify their hold on third place in the Atlantic Division when they visit the Washington Capitals for an afternoon game this Sunday.

The Bruins have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL since mid-February, but are currently dealing with injuries to two key players, David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm. The Capitals slipped into the second wild-card spot in the East as they struggle to get consistent goaltending, but are coming off a 6-3 win in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Here's the latest on both teams, and your best bet for the game.

Boston Finishes Up Impressive Road Trip

Winners of eight of their last 10, the Bruins will wrap up a four-game road trip on Sunday. So far, they've eked out overtime wins in Columbus and Tampa, with a 5-3 loss in Detroit sandwiched in between.

The Bruins practiced in Washington on Saturday. Coach Bruce Cassidy said that Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy were absent for maintenance days, and ruled out injured Pastrnak and Lindholm for Sunday's game.

Pastrnak's absence has turned into an opportunity for Jake DeBrusk, who has found his offensive game since signing a new two-year contract extension on March 21. Playing in a top-line role, DeBrusk has seven goals and 10 points in his last 10 games.

With Linus Ullmark currently riding a personal six-game winning streak, he'll get the nod in net. He's 2-0-0 against Washington so far this year, and is up to a .912 save percentage and 2.58 goals-against average for the season. Cassidy says he's riding with the hot hand; Ullmark hasn't had a regulation loss since March 1.

Of course, the Bruins' elite team defense creates a friendly environment for any goaltender. Boston leads all teams with just 2.02 expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 and controls an NHL-best 57.64% of all goals in 5-on-5 play.

Boston is also one of the NHL's strongest teams on the road this year, with a record of 23-10-3 away from TD Garden.

Washington Has To Hurry Home for Difficult Matchup

This is a very tight back-to-back set with travel for the Caps. Their Saturday win in Pittsburgh finished at 6 p.m. ET and they'll need to travel home. Flight time from Pittsburgh to D.C. is only about 40 minutes, but by the time you add ground transportation at each end, and figure they'll need to be at Capital One Arena about two hours before Sunday's 1:30 p.m. puck drop, that's a turnaround of not even 18 hours.

Ilya Samsonov got the start in Pittsburgh, his second straight after backstopping Washington to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday. On the back-to-back, expect coach Peter Laviolette to turn back to Vitek Vanecek on Sunday.

Vanecek is  at -1.8 goals saved above expected as he approaches his career high for games played in a season, and has struggled over the last three weeks a 1-4-0 record, .863 save percentage and 4.16 goals-against average. He may not have much left in the tank.

And other than working to get their playoff game in order, the Caps don't have a whole lot to play for right now. They're virtually assured of entering the postseason in the second wild-card spot in the East; after their game on Saturday, they sat six points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning, in the first wild-card position, and 13 ahead of the ninth-place New York Islanders.

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Bruins vs. Capitals Pick

Saturday's meeting will be the last one of the year between the two teams, unless they end up meeting in a later round of the playoffs. In a pair of late-January contests, the Bruins beat the Capitals 7-3 in Washington, then 4-3 in Boston. Ullmark earned both wins.

As of Saturday afternoon, some oddsmakers have this game as a pick'em. BetMGM is giving Boston a narrow edge in this matchup, and that confidence is well-founded. The Bruins are the better team in the standings and in terms of underlying numbers, will be more rested and have a hot goaltender on their side.

The Bruins also have more to play for. They're close enough to Toronto that they could still move up to second spot in the Atlantic Division and earn home-ice advantage in the first round.

Even after taking their injuries into account, Boston should prevail at Capital One Arena on Sunday.

Pick: Bruins ML -115 (play down to -130)

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