The Washington Capitals look to rebound when they take on the Boston Bruins on Thursday. Boston beat Washington 5-1 the last time these teams met, back on March 5.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for this East Division battle at the Capital One Arena. Washington is the favorite at -115. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts the odds for Boston at -105 as the underdog.
Goaltender Tuukka Rask remains out for Boston. The team has lost three of their defensemen over the last week, with only Charlie McAvoy potentially being able to go on Thursday. Backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak is also out for this contest with Covid-19 protocols.
Swayman Stars in Bruins Win
With both of their top goaltenders out, Jeremy Swayman delivered an outstanding performance, stopping 40 of 42 shots in a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Patrice Bergeron scored a hat trick to lead Boston and Brad Marchand added a goal and three assists.
Boston is 17th in the NHL at 2.75 goals per game, connecting on 8.6% of their shots, 23rd overall. They are seventh on the power-play at 24.1%. Marchand leads the team in goals (18), assists (27), and points (45). Bergeron now has 15 goals and 33 points.
The Bruins are sixth in goals allowed at 2.47 per contest. They are first in penalty killing at 88.7%. It will be Swayman back between the pipes to make his second NHL start. He boasts a gaudy .952 save percentage after the victory over Philadelphia.
Capitals Blanked by Islanders
Vitek Vanecek stopped 38 of 39 shots, but it was not enough as Washington fell to the Islanders, 1-0. Brock Nelson scored the only goal of the game with a little less than seven minutes left in the contest.
Washington is third in the NHL in goals per game at 3.33 and are first in shooting percentage of 12.0%. The Capitals are eighth on the power-play at 24.0%. Nicklas Backstrom continues to lead the team in points with 39. However, he has just one point in his last three games.
The Capitals are allowing 2.97 goals per game, 18th overall. They are seventh in penalty killing at 82.9%. Vanecek will likely be back for this contest. The rookie is 15-7-3 with a 2.64 GAA and a .911 save percentage. Vanecek has allowed two goals or less in each of his last three games.
- 2-5 in their last seven games as the underdog.
- 0-4 and their last four games following a victory.
- 7-1 in their last eight games at home.
- 15-2 in their last 17 games as the favorite.
While Swayman looked very good in his first NHL start, he did not face a team like Washington. Philadelphia is not nearly as good offensively, and the Capitals should test the youngster. Vanecek looked great against New York but got no offensive support. Washington returns home where they are 13-4-2. Look for a big rebound game from the Capitals.
Pick: Take Washington at -115.
I look for Vanacek to keep his impressive string going. He has allowed one goal in each of his last two games, and I think that is exactly what he will allow in this contest as well. The Capitals are playing very well in front of their own net, and are transitioning out of their zone well, not giving teams many opportunities for extended time inside the Washington zone. The Capitals are going to dominate this game, but it still goes under.
Pick: Go under 5.5 at +105.