We are two games into the new season, and teams have started to show their dominance early in the season. Coming off a two-loss streak, the Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Washington Capitals in what promises to be an exciting game. The Capitals have started the new season strongly, beating the Buffalo Sabres twice to go second in the East Division. Both teams have had to go through each other through the years in their quest for the championship title. It is a storied rivalry between both teams, and both teams have another opportunity to better the other. In what will be the first of two meetings in quick succession, the Capitals will look to extend their winning run in a bid to top the East Division. The Penguins will make life difficult for them as they will be looking to record their first win for the new season. If they have any hope of featuring in the Playoffs, they will need to turn things around, and soon.
Date: Sunday, January 17, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM EST
Venue: PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh
Spread: Washington Capitals +1.5 (-270) | Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5 (+220)
Moneyline: Washington Capitals +100 | Pittsburgh Penguins -120
Total: Over 6.5 (-115) | Under 6.5 (-105)
Odds via FanDuel as of Friday, January 17, 2021 (6:00am ET)
There is no love lost between both teams as they have a storied rivalry. Both teams have had to go through each other for the past 15 seasons in search of championship glory. A similar situation plagues both teams as they lost long time goalies in the off-season. However, it seems like both replacements have not done a great job protecting the goal. Even as the Capitals have won their first two matches, they conceded five goals while scoring 8. The Penguins have conceded 11 and scored 5. The Capitals have a better offense, which might be enough to edge past the Penguins.
The Capitals Are Off to a Good Start
It is every team’s dream to do a double over their opponents in any situation. The Capitals were able to fulfill this dream by thrashing the Sabres in both meetings, which was the first and second game of the new season for them. The second win against the Sabres was proof that the high-scoring offense in the first game was not a fluke. Tom Wilson picked up his first two points for the Capitals with an assist to Jakub Vrana and a tie-breaker later in the game.
Even with such an impressive offense, they conceded 4 goals in the first match and one in the subsequent fixture. Goalie Vitek Vanacek, despite recording thirty saves, allowed 4 goals in his debut. He came into the tea after spending five years at Hershey Bears. The team successfully killed all five penalties throughout the game.
Poor Offensive Display By the Penguins Could Cost Them The Game
The Penguins have not been able to take-off offensively as they have been terrible in front of goal. They were able to score only five goals in their first two matchups in the new season. Perhaps that could have secured them the wins if they had a better defense. The Penguins outshot the Flyers in the second game 33-20, but we’re unable to convert. The coach stated that all they need to do is make better decisions and will work on it. We might see a different side of the Penguins against the Capitals on Sunday.
Changes had to be made in goal as the first-choice goalie, Tristan Jarry, allowed three snipes on six shots just 11-and-a-half minutes into the game. His replacement Casey DeSmith made 12 saves, which was a relief for the Penguins.
It will be a very close matchup as either team can snatch the win. A safe bet will be in the Total category. The Capitals have shown that they are a very high-scoring team. Also, with both defenses conceding a lot of goals, it is safe to say that we will witness a goal-fest.