The Washington Capitals look for their second straight victory over the Boston Bruins on Friday night. Washington defeated Boston in a shootout on Wednesday, 2-1. The Capitals lead the East Division, and Boston has dropped to third.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for this East Division battle at the TD Garden. Boston is the favorite at -141. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts the odds for Washington at +120 as the underdog.
Washington is without goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who is out with a heart condition. Defenseman Michael Kempny may return by early May. Jeremy Lauzon suffered a hand injury on Wednesday for Boston and will be out until the end of this month.
Capitals Edge Bruins in Shootout
The Washington Capitals (13-5-4) and Boston Bruins were scoreless through two periods, as Vitek Vanecek and Tuukka Rask put on quite a goaltending clinic. Lars Eller tied the score after Boston took the lead 1:19 into the third period. That led to a shootout where Washington scored the only goal to earn the victory. Vanecek had a solid night, stopping 18 of 19 shots.
Washington is fourth in the NHL at 3.32 goals per game. They have one of the best power-play units in the league, averaging 28.1% (5th). Nicklas Backstrom leads the team with 10 goals, 15 assists, and 25 points. The goal by Eller was his fifth of the season and gives him 12 points overall.
Washington is allowing 3.09 goals per game (23rd). The penalty killing units have been solid at 80.6% (11th). Vanecek has a 2.69 GAA and a .910 save percentage and 18 starts. He is 10-4-3 overall.
Penguins Start Out Homestand on Great Note
The Boston Bruins (12-5-3) moved to 5-1-1 at home this season. David Pastrnak had the lone goal of the game for the Bruins. Rask was solid in net, stopping 27 of 28 shots.
Boston is averaging 2.90 goals per game (17th). They are seventh in total shots taken per game at 31.5. The power-play has been outstanding for Boston as well, averaging 25.9% (9th). Boston is led in scoring by Brad Marchand with 10 goals, 14 assists, and 24 points. The goal by Pastrnak ties him with Marchand for the team lead in goals with 10. He has 19 points overall.
The defense has been the name of the game for the Bruins. They are allowing 2.55 goals per game (6th) and 26.1 shots per contest (1st). Boston has been excellent at killing penalties, third in the NHL at 88.2%. Rask has a 2.56 GAA and a .902 save percentage in13 starts. He is 8-3-2 overall.
- 4-0 in their last four games.
- 7-3 in their last 10 games when playing on one day’s rest.
- 2-5 in their last seven games.
- 2-5 in their last seven games as the favorite.
I would normally be going with Boston in a game like this, but they simply cannot get out of their own way right now. Since their five-game winning streak ended on February 13, Boston is 2-5-0. They have been held to two goals or less in five of those games.
Washington is red-hot. They are getting great goaltending and scoring goals when needed. They are the team to beat in this contest.
Pick: Take Washington Capitals at +120
Until Boston is able to prove they can start scoring goals again, the under looks like the smart pick. These teams have gone under in 20 of the last 27 meetings in Boston. The Bruins have gone under in four of their last five games at home. The teams combined for three goals on Wednesday. I like the under here as well.
Pick: Go under 6.0 goals at +100