Two clubs facing each other for the first time this season, the Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils clash at the Prudential Center. This divisional matchup gets started at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, December 20, and it can be watched live on NBC Sports Washington.
Washington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils Odds
Playing the role of underdog will be Washington (-165), while New Jersey is favored displaying moneyline odds of +145 and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -110 for the over and -110 for the under.
Washington is 24-11 straight up (SU) and has earned 7.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 35 regular season contests, 22 of its games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and none have pushed. As the road team in 2019-20, the Caps are 15-4 SU.
Washington has converted on 22.6 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, it has the fourth-best penalty kill in the league, and it has successfully killed off 85.4 percent of all penalties.
For the team as a whole, Washington has been penalized 4.2 times per game overall during the 2019-20 season, and 5.6 per game over its last five games. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays an unhealthy 15.2 minutes per game over their last five outings.
Averaging 27.6 saves per game with a .909 save percentage, Braden Holtby (16-9-4) has been the top option in goal for Washington this season. If Washington chooses to rest him, however, they may roll with Ilya Samsonov (8-3-1), who has a .918 save percentage and 2.38 goals against average this year.
John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Capitals. Carlson has 45 points on 12 goals and 33 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 14 different games. Ovechkin has 21 goals and 12 assists to his credit (and has logged at least one point in 20 games).
On the other bench, New Jersey is 11-22 straight up (SU) and has lost 11.3 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 16 of its matches have gone over the total, while another 16 have gone under and just one has pushed. It’s 5-12 SU at home this year.
New Jersey has converted on just 14.0 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that places it in the bottom overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 20th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.6 percent of all opponent power plays.
The Devils have been penalized 4.0 times per game this season, 4.4 per game over their last five contests total, and 3.8 per game over their last five at home. The team has had to kill penalties 8.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
MacKenzie Blackwood (26.2 saves per game) has been the top option in the crease for New Jersey. Blackwood has 10 wins, 15 losses, and four overtime losses to his credit and has maintained a subpar .910 save percentage and 2.77 goals against average this season.
Taylor Hall (six goals, 19 assists) will lead the offensive attack for the Devils.
Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils Betting Predictions
NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Capitals, O/U – Under
The total has gone under in four of New Jersey’s last five outings.
The extra-man advantage may play a critical role in the outcome of this matchup. The Capitals are 7-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 12-5 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total. The Devils are 5-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 6-14 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
Washington is 3-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while New Jersey is 1-4 in shootouts.
New Jersey skaters have averaged 6.4 takeaways per game over its last five home games, right in line with its season average of 6.6 takeaways per game (ranked 26th in the league).
Washington is ranked 17th in the NHL this season with 7.5 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down lately, however, as it has averaged 6.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.2 takeaways over its last five.