NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Capitals vs. Canucks (March 11)
Getty Images. Pictured: Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin #8 and Vancouver Canucks J.T. Miller #9.
- The Vancouver Canucks are on a hot streak and will host the Washington Capitals in this Friday night showdown.
- Books are making this a pick’em, but our analyst isn’t targeting the spread or puck line here — he’s eyeing the total.
- With Alex Ovechkin on one side and J.T. Miller, find out why he’s betting the over below.
Capitals vs. Canucks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Vancouver Canucks have been on fire, winning eight of their last 10 games and looking to put themselves in playoff position.
The Washington Capitals haven’t been great last 10 times out, but they have been somewhat average going 5-4-1 in that span.
This will be a hard-fought game between two teams that are in a playoff push.
Washington Capitals Hoping To Keep Up Strong Production
The Washington Capitals have been known as a strong offensive team since Alexander Ovechkin joined the club back in 2005-06. That narrative has remained constant this season — the Caps currently have the 10th-best producing offense, averaging 3.24 goals scored per game.
Nicklas Backstrom recorded his 999th and 1,000th career points in the team’s last game in Edmonton on Wednesday night. He has missed most of the season due to injury, but has really helped this offense in the 26 games that he’s played, racking up five goals and 15 assists.
The area in which the Caps have missed his presence the most is their power play. When you think of the Washington Capitals’ power play, the first thing that comes to mind is an Ovechkin one-timer. This season has not been their best on the man advantage unit — they are currently the 26th-best power play unit as they only convert on 17.8% of their chances. They will need to improve in this area because they are only averaging 2.4 goals per game at five-on-five.
Ilya Samsonov is the expected starter for the Caps. He is coming off of a 36-save performance in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers. He is 17-9-4 this season with a .901 save percentage and a -5.7 Goals Saved Above Expected.
Vancouver Canucks Are Heating Up
The Vancouver Canucks are on absolute fire right now. They’re still not where they’d like to be as far as standings go, but they are quickly creeping up on the top teams in the Pacific Division. Despite their successful play of late, they have the worst penalty kill in the entire league and a key focus for them in this game will be staying disciplined and staying out of the penalty box.
The Canucks are feeling it right now offensively — they are riding a three-game win streak in which they have scored 15 goals combined. J.T. Miller has been lighting up the score sheet in this span (three goals, four assists) and his name has been brought up by many with the upcoming trade deadline. But with the way he’s been playing, I can’t imagine the Canucks would want to lose him. Miller leads the team in points with 67 points in 56 games and the Capitals will need to be aware when he is on the ice.
In goal for Vancouver will be Thatcher Demko. He has had a very strong season, posting a record of 26-16-2 with a .917 save percentage and a +8.8 GSAx. The team does a solid job in front of him, ranking as the 12th-best defense, only allowing 2.84 goals per game.
Capitals vs. Canucks Pick
Both teams have been finding their offense the last couple of games. The Canucks have looked like a completely different team than they were in the beginning of the season and the Capitals have scored 13 goals in their last three games.
Both teams have solid goaltending, but with the way these teams have been producing I don’t believe either goalie will stand on their head. The Capitals should be able to produce on the power play, taking advantage of a weak Canucks penalty kill. The Canucks’ man advantage unit has been solid as well — they rank 15th and convert on 21.5% of their opportunities.
The offenses should prevail in this game that features some of today’s NHL stars like Alexander Ovechkin and J.T. Miller. I’m going with the over.
Pick: Over 6 (-110)