NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Capitals at Senators (October 25)
Patrick McDermott/ Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Wilson.
Capitals vs. Senators Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
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The Washington Capitals make the trip up north for the first time this season to square off against the Ottawa Senators .
The Caps come into this one having a record of 3-0-2, while the Senators haven’t had as much success and enter this matchup with a record of 2-3-0.
Ottawa hasn’t been able to find much consistency and is on a two-game losing skid, but one thing that remains consistent for this team is that they play competitive hockey and keep pucks out of the net. Washington also boasts a strong defense and has made it difficult for its opponents to score the puck, which is why I am targeting the under in this matchup despite Washington’s early offensive success.
Senators Defense Leads the Way
Ottawa has not lost a game by more than one goal this season and has not seen a total go above five goals in any of its games, two trends that are great for the under.
As I mentioned earlier, the Senators have remained competitive in all of their games. However, that hasn’t exactly translated to having success on both ends of the ice.
Through five games, Ottawa has only scored five goals in 5-on-5 situations, ranking it second to last and just barely ahead of Chicago, who is arguably the worst offensive team in the NHL. Ottawa is also only averaging two goals per game, ranking it 27th overall.
While Ottawa does rank 15th in Expected Goals For per 60 minutes, the offense has been relatively stagnant, and goals have been hard to come by for this team.
What they lack on offense is somewhat made up for on the other end of the ice though. Ottawa is tied for 11th in Goals Against in 5-on-5 situations and is ranked 15th in xGA/60, which is another reason why its games have been so close and low scoring.
A starting goaltender has not been named yet, but one thing is for sure and that is Matt Murray will not be in net for this game as he was placed on IR with a head injury. That leaves Anton Forsberg and Filip Gustavsson for Ottawa, both of whom have an SV% above .925 this season.
Tough to Get Puck Past Capitals
The Capitals have gotten off to quite an impressive start on the offensive end. Through five games, they have scored 13 goals in 5-on-5 and rank 12th in xGF/60.
However, there is one aspect of their offense that is a little worrisome, but it certainly helps the case for the under. Washington has not generated many scoring chances close to the net, as it only has 9.34 High-Danger Chances For per game, ranking 23rd in the NHL.
The Caps have combined a good offense with an even better defense, which is another reason why I like the under in this matchup.
In 5-on-5 situations, they have only given up three total goals in five games, rank sixth in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60), are allowing the 12th fewest High-Danger Scoring Chances, and rank first in fewest Shots on Goal Allowed on a per game basis.
No goalie has been named for Washington, but both of their options have performed well so far. Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vancecek both have a SV% above .960 and have been a great last line of defense for this team.
It has been extremely difficult to get pucks past this Caps team, and that should remain the case in this game.
Senators vs. Capitals Pick
Washington has been as solid as it comes in the early season, and we should see it continue to dominate on both ends of the ice.
Ottawa has kept games close, but it appears it does not have the necessary firepower on the offensive end to get past the Caps.
Washington is going to find the back of the net a few times in this game, but 6.5 goals is too high of a number. It will keep Ottawa from scoring and that will likely allow this total to stay below 6.5.
Pick: Under 6.5 (-120)