Stephen Nover’s Free Thursday Play

On October 13, 2016, in Free Picks, NHL, by Stephen

Capitals minus $1.15 at Penguins

I’m not in love with laying a road price against the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins, who have won 25 of their last 33 home matchups, but I want the Capitals going for me in this opening game of the season.

And it’s not just because Sidney Crosby is out for the Penguins.

The Capitals had the best record in the NHL last season, finishing 16 points ahead of the Penguins. But the Penguins eliminated them during the Eastern Conference semifinals. Now the Capitals have to watch, in person, the Penguins get to raise the Stanley Cup banner during pregame ceremonies. That’s also a distraction for the Penguins.

The Capitals not only hold an offensive edge with the Penguins down Crosby, but an advantage in goal, too, with Braden Holtby against Marc-Andre Fleury. It was Matt Murray, not Fleury, who helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup with tremendous goaltending. Murray, though, suffered a broken hand during the World Cup.

The combination of revenge, more offensive firepower and a superior goalie should push the Capitals past the Penguins here.


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