Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals Odds, Pick, Prediction: Back Team in Better Form
Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: David Pastrnak
- The Boston Bruins remain a short underdog against the Washington Capitals in Monday night NHL action.
- Although not that much separates these teams over their full body of work, the Bruins are in much better form at the moment.
- Get our full Bruins vs. Caps pick and preview below.
Bruins vs. Capitals Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings, lasted updated at 3:30 p.m. ET.|
The Washington Capitals have been a little inconsistent as of late, losing three in a row, and now will play host to a Bruins team that has been in terrific form since returning from the pause.
Washington has a stronger record and is the home team tonight, but bookmakers see very little separating these two clubs on Monday, with the game sitting at a virtual pick’em.
Should the odds be this tight?
The Bruins Are Putting It Together
When the Boston Bruins are on song, they play a well-structured, repeatable style of hockey. That style translates well, whether Boston is at home or on the road. The B’s are 6-3-1 over their last 10 games and 5-1-1 in their last seven road contests, so it does seem like Boston has found its stride.
While known for their defense, the Bruins offense has started to trend in the right direction. Boston ranks second in the NHL in shots on goal at 5-on-5 and ninth in expected goals for per 60. The Bruins are only generating 10.48 high-danger scoring chances per hour at 5-on-5, but when your defense is only allowing 8.1 high-danger chances per game, those numbers should play.
Boston’s surface-level numbers may not show it, but the Bruins have been a force at 5-on-5 and currently lead the NHL with a 57.1% expected goals rate.
Tuukka Rask’s return to Beantown is on the horizon, but for Monday night it will be either Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman in net for the B’s. Ullmark and Swayman split the netminding duties down the middle for Boston and each have a .918 save percentage to show for it.
One thing to monitor for Boston is the status of No. 1 defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who has missed the last two games. McAvoy is still listed as day-to-day, but head coach Bruce Cassidy noted that he thinks he will be available for tonight’s game.
The Capitals Are Wobbling
Losers of their last three games, the Washington Capitals could be without two key pieces of their offensive puzzle on Monday night. T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom did not travel with the team on its two-game road trip, but are eligible to return from IR on Monday night. Oshie and Backstrom make a huge difference to the team’s top-six and take pressure off Alex Ovechkin and the top line.
With Ovechkin having a legitimate MVP-type season and all their starpower up front, the Capitals have the reputation of a dynamic offensive team. And while that is true to some extent, it’s been the defense that has carried the water for Washington this season.
The Caps rank third in the NHL in xGA/60, 12th in high-danger chances conceded and seventh in goals allowed at 5-on-5. A strong defense with an offense that can light it up when it needs to is a recipe for success in the long-term.
The Capitals have yet to tap a starting goaltender for Monday, but with Vitek Vanecek listed as day-to-day it will come down to Ilya Samsonov or Zach Fucale. Samsonov is Washington’s No. 1 netminder, but he’s been inconsistent this season, despite a 13-3-3 record. Playing behind a strong defense, Samsonov has skated to a .903 save percentage and a -3.5 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) this season.
Fucale could be an intriguing option for the Caps. The 2013 second-round pick has played in just three games but, he’s posted a +4.23 GSAx in those contests. Fucale’s .980 save percentage is unsustainable, but with Samsonov struggling it wouldn’t shock me to see Fucale get a go on Monday.
Bruins vs. Capitals Pick
There may not be all that much that separates the Bruins and Capitals right now, but there is no question that Boston is the form team in this matchup. Not only do the B’s have some of the strongest predictive metrics in the NHL, but they’re starting to get consistent results as well.
Washington’s defense has been terrific this season, but the Bruins are just on another level in that regard. With the goaltending matchup looking like a wash, I like the value on Boston to continue its form and think we should see the Bruins only get more expensive as the season goes on.
Pick: Boston Bruins -105
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