NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Capitals vs. Maple Leafs (January 29)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Capitals vs. Maple Leafs (January 29) article feature image

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: TJ Oshie as the Washington Capitals.

Capitals vs. Maple Leafs Odds

Capitals Odds+122
Maple Leads Odds-146
Over/Under6 (-120/-102)
Time5 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Toronto was humiliated 6-2 on home ice by rival Ottawa in the Maple Leafs first contest since news broke that 2021-22 MVP Auston Matthews would be sidelined for an extended period of time.

Toronto has gone 11-6-2 after a loss this season and is priced as -146 favorites to bounce back Sunday as it hosts Washington.

Washington has won just three of its past eight matchups, but managed a crucial shootout win Thursday over the Penguins to keep pace in a furious Eastern Conference wild card race.

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Washington Capitals

Finishing off quality chances has been extremely difficult for the Capitals of late and that has been a key factor in the disappointing results. Washington has played to a -7.71 goals scored above expected rating over an eight game sample and, unsurprisingly, that lack of finishing has led to a poor 3-5-0 record.

Aside from their inability to finish off scoring chances, the Capitals game have looked impressive recently. In fact, they looked very sharp in Colorado and against Pittsburgh earlier this week

Over its past five games, Washington has played to a 62.66 xGF%, the top mark in the league over that span.

The Capitals have continued to see a number of high profile skaters absent or coming in and out of the lineup, but the overall depth of their roster continues to be this team's greatest strength.

Washington's big name offensive stars haven't often been key contributors, but a number of underrated forwards — such as Sonny Milano, Marcus Johansson and Conor Sheary — are contributing far better than average play in their respective roles on the team.

Dmitry Orlov and Nick Jensen have quietly been one of the better pairings in the league, and have played to a 55.9 xGF% in 391.4 minutes together, often drawing the assignment of the oppositions top-line.

Darcy Kuemper will likely start in goal for Washington, and has played to a +5.7 GSAx rating and a .917 save % through 33 games.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Barring a truly incredible stretch of wins or losses to finish the season, Toronto seems destined for another first-round matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Toronto's recent play hasn't been overly elite or anything to be concerned about, and ultimately it seems likely we won't know much about this team until the conclusion of the playoffs.

A lack of depth scoring may prove to be somewhat of a problem and will likely be an area targeted for improvement heading toward the trade deadline.

Depth further down the roster is an area where the Capitals may have a small edge over the Leafs, whose star forwards are simply miles beyond what the Capitals can offer.

However, that gap is marginalized with Matthews, an incredibly dominant two-way center, out of the lineup.

Former Capital Ilya Samsonov has been confirmed as the Leafs starting goaltender for this matchup.

Samsonov has played to a +10.9 GSAx rating and a .916 save % in 23 appearances with the Leafs. It's also important to note he's excelled on home ice.

Capitals vs. Maple Leafs Pick

Washington has quietly played at an elite level in a number of its recent outings, though an inability to finish a standard amount of its chances has hidden some of those performances. Washington hasn't typically been a team that struggles to convert scoring chances and will eventually trend toward more favorable results.

If that elite level of play is maintained in this matchup, it will give the Capitals a better chance to win than the +125 price suggests.

Toronto hasn't been dominating teams recently, so it seems reasonable to believe Washington can hang tough in this spot.

This seems like a great time to catch the Capitals as fairly lengthy road underdogs. I would back Washington down to a price of +110.

Pick: Capitals Moneyline | Plat to +110

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