Capitals vs. Bruins Odds, Prediction: NHL Betting Preview (Feb. 11)

Capitals vs. Bruins Odds, Prediction: NHL Betting Preview (Feb. 11) article feature image

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Linus Ullmark.

  • The Boston Bruins put their dominant home record (22-1-3) on the line when they host the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon.
  • Washington hasn't played in over 10 days, so perhaps the fresh legs will help it keep pace with Boston.
  • Continue reading for Carol Schram's best bet and analysis.

Capitals vs. Bruins Odds

Capitals Odds+160
Bruins Odds-194
Over/Under6 (-110/-110)
Time3:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins will get back to work with a Saturday afternoon contest at TD Garden. Both sides will be returning to action after their bye weeks, and will look to start dialing in their 'A' games with the playoffs just two months away.

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

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Washington Capitals

Mired in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race with three or four other teams, the Capitals need every point they can get to guarantee themselves a playoff berth.  They've lost a little ground over the past month or so, with a 5-7-0 record in their past 12 games.

Injuries remain an issue. Nicklas Backstrom has returned and has five points in 10 games, but Tom Wilson missed three games before the break with a lower-body problem and didn't take part in the Capitals' main practice Friday. Depth center Nic Dowd also skated ahead of Friday's practice and defenseman John Carlson is not yet ready to return after taking a puck to the face before Christmas.

So far in 2023, the Capitals are struggling to score. They're averaging just 2.71 goals per game — seventh-worst in the league over that stretch — and have just five power-play goals in 14 games. Even the normally unstoppable Alex Ovechkin has been chilly. He has just three goals in his past 11 games, and while he took part in All-Star weekend, he was sidelined for the Capitals' game in Vegas on Jan. 21 with a lower-body issue.

Goaltending has been a bright spot for Washington. Both Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren have consistently delivered above-league-average performances.

Boston Bruins

Still seven points clear of their closest rival at the top of the NHL standings, the Bruins don't need to concern themselves with securing a playoff spot. But they did have their first wobble of the year in the week before the All-Star break, losing three straight for the first time all season.

They rebounded with a solid 5-2 win over Toronto on Feb. 1, but it'll be interesting to see which Boston team shows up at TD Garden on Saturday. PDO is a statistic that adds a team's shooting percentage and save percentage and serves as a proxy for how lucky they've been, with 1.00 being average. The Bruins are at 1.039 this season — not outrageous, but still the highest in the league. Regression to the mean suggests some bounces won't go their way over the final 31 games of the season.

But as the saying goes, sometimes you make your own luck. The Bruins are very fortunate to be backstopped by Vezina Trophy frontrunner Linus Ullmark, who helps them be the stingiest team in the league.

As you'd expect from the league's top team, Boston's overall metrics remain solid. And the Bruins are relatively healthy, although neither Jake DeBrusk nor Tomas Nosek is expected back in the lineup in time for Saturday's game.

Capitals vs. Bruins Pick

An 82-game season is a long time to be at your best every night, and the Bruins showed signs that they're human with their wobble just before the break. Given their top-notch leadership group, it seems likely they'll have used their bye week wisely — to take a physical break and mentally reset for this final stretch.

If that's the case, the Capitals are going to be in for a tough test.

On the first night of the season, Boston took down Washington 5-2 in Washington. Don't be surprised to see a similar result Saturday.

If you're feeling conservative, FanDuel is offering a regulation win for the Bruins at a decent -122 price as of Friday night. But a puck line pick could yield a nice result for this game.

Pick: Bruins -1.5 | Play Down to +110

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