- The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021
- The Penguins won a close 4-3 contest in the first rivalry matchup of the season
- Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick
The Washington Capitals will be out for revenge when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 (7:00 PM EST). Washington is being listed as +100 underdogs after falling to Pittsburgh by a 4-3 score Sunday afternoon.
The Capitals have gotten at least a point in every game so far this season, while the Penguins opened the season with back-to-back losses before getting on track against the Caps.
What’s the best way to bet on this East Division matchup?
Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins Odds
|Washington||+1.5 (-270)||+100||O 6.5 (-135)|
|Pittsburgh||-1.5 (+220)||-120||U 6.5 (+110)|
Odds taken Jan. 18 at FanDuel
Pens Snap Losing Streak
After opening the season with back-to-back losses against the Flyers, the Penguins garnered a much-needed victory against the Capitals on Sunday. Evan Rodrigues, Colton Sceviour, and Marcus Pettersson scored for Pittsburgh, while goalie Casey DeSmith made 20 saves. Jake Guentzel scored the lone goal of the shootout.
The Pens were outscored 11-5 in the first two games of the season, but they came ready for battle on Sunday, outshooting their Washington rivals 11-3 in the opening period. While the Penguins managed to get in the win column, they got some unfortunate news after the game as coach Mike Sullivan announced blueliner Mike Matheson will be out long-term with an upper-body injury.
Ovechkin Comes Alive For Caps
It took a couple of games, but Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is on the board in this unique NHL season. The Russian superstar was one of the best players on the ice Sunday, notching his first goal of the season and firing six shots on goal. He would’ve had a pair of scores if one of his shots hadn’t rung off both posts and stayed out.
THE DOUBLE DOINK. ?#AllCaps | #LetsGoPens pic.twitter.com/Z7xts0Gp3q
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) January 17, 2021
Washington is off to an impressive start this season, managing at least a point in every single game and leading the league with 11 goals scored (three-way tie). Goaltending was a question mark entering this season, however, as Braden Holtby is now in Vancouver. New Caps starter Ilya Samsonov has underwhelmed with a .868 save percentage in his first two starts.
Washington vs Pittsburgh rarely fails to disappoint due to the star-studded talent on both rosters. The teams played three times in the 2019-20 campaign, with Washington winning twice and at least seven goals being scored in each matchup. Another high-scoring affair on Sunday marked the fifth straight game between the two clubs in which the “over” has hit.
One interesting storyline to monitor is the play of Penguins star forward Evgeni Malkin. He typically thrives in rivalry games against Washington but has yet to hit the scoresheet this season. Malkin has exploded for 21 goals and 67 points in 48 career games against the Capitals and is due for a breakout contest. He had arguably his best game of the season Sunday.
What’s The Best Bet?
Pittsburgh may have won the first battle of the season between these two clubs, but it didn’t come in all that convincing of fashion. They only outshot Washington 27-23 and failed to cash on any of their five power-play opportunities. Had a few bounces gone Washington’s way, Pittsburgh may be looking at an 0-3 start.
Game (and power play) back on.#LetsGoPens pic.twitter.com/qGBW6UVJH4
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 17, 2021
The Capitals have great value on the moneyline to win the rematch Tuesday. Pittsburgh has already allowed four goals on the penalty kill this season, while the Capitals have one of the best power plays in the league quarterbacked by Ovechkin and John Carlson.
You should also consider betting the “over” to hit for a sixth consecutive game in this rivalry. Neither Tristan Jarry nor DeSmith have been lights out in goal for the Penguins, and Washington goalie Samsonov has allowed at least three goals in two starts.
Pick: Capitals Moneyline (+100), Over 6.5 (-135)