Hurricanes at Capitals Odds
|Over/Under||6 (-112 / -106)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds through BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
Some Metro Division mayhem will kick off our five-game NHL slate on Monday. Carolina Hurricanes are visiting the Washington Capitals to close out the season series between the two teams.
Coming off a 7-2 road win against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, the Hurricanes are midway through a quick three-in-four set that will finish up in Tampa Bay on Tuesday. The Caps will be on Game 2 of a spaced-out four-game homestand that opened with Saturday’s 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Though Carolina holds a nine-point edge in the Metropolitan Division standings, it’s Washington that has been the hotter squad over the last 10 games.
Here’s the latest on both clubs, and your best bet for Monday’s matchup.
Stumbling Hurricanes Don’t Need To Panic
Last Saturday’s beatdown of the Blues marked a return to form for Carolina, which is just 2-3-2 in its last seven games. Like many teams this month, the schedule has been busy. Monday will mark the seventh game in 12 days for the Hurricanes, which means little time for practice or rest—and greater reliance on backup goals.
In that respect, Carolina is set up well. It’s not clear how Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta will split the back-to-backs against the Capitals and the Lightning, but coach Rod Brind’amour won’t have to fret too much about his decision. As a team, the Hurricanes allow the fewest goals in the league, and are neck-and-neck with Los Angeles and Boston for the lowest Corsi against per 60.
In the crease, Andersen sits second in the NHL in goals saved above expected, with 30, while Raanta has a solid 6.9. It was Raanta who earned the win in St. Louis on Saturday, which could set up an Andersen start in Washington.
Brind’amour will be hoping that Saturday’s win in St. Louis gets his team’s offensive juices flowing again. Since March 1, the Hurricanes have been averaging just 2.62 goals per game. The power play has also come back on track, 4-for-7 in the last three games after six games without a goal.
Carolina’s only move at the trade deadline was adding forward depth with the acquisition of Max Domi. After two games, he is still looking for his first point with his new squad.
Washington Enjoying Successful Month
After a bit of a swoon in February, the Washington Capitals have found their form in the month of March.
The Caps are 9-2-1 this month and could still displace Pittsburgh or the Rangers to move out of their current wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
The biggest force behind the turnaround is healthy goaltender Vitek Vanecek. He’s 7-2-0 in March, with a .920 save percentage. And even though his partner Ilya Samsonov is at just .880 this month, he has still managed to help his team earn five of a possible six points, with a 2-0-1 record in his starts.
Yes, the Caps are scoring again, too. They’re averaging 3.75 goals per game this month. Evgeny Kutznetsov has led the way with 15 points in 12 games, Alex Ovechkin has 10 goals and Anthony Mantha is providing some solid secondary scoring now that he’s in the lineup. He’s at seven goals and 14 points in 22 games to date.
After struggling for much of the season, the Caps’ power play has come back to life. Since the All-Star Break, Washington has been the second-best team in the league with the man advantage, going 19-for-64 for a 29.7% success rate.
The Capitals made a couple of depth trades at the deadline, re-acquiring forward Marcus Johansson and adding defenseman Johan Larsson.
Hurricanes vs. Capitals Pick
The Capitals’ have been the Hurricanes’ kryptonite this season. They’ve won all three previous meetings and scored four goals in each contest — although it took a shootout to get there on March 15.
Every possible goaltending matchup has been covered in those games; Samsonov earned two of Washington’s wins; Andersen was charged with two losses while Raanta got the overtime loss.
In the big statistical picture, Carolina is the stronger team. But Washington has dominated in head-to-head play, is the hotter club right now, has a friendlier schedule and will be enjoying home ice advantage.
Those are four good reasons to back the Capitals on Monday night. The most money on offer to back Washington is the cherry on top.
Pick: Capitals +110 (play down to +100)
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