CAPITALS (+115) at PENGUINS (-135), 7 p.m.
Pick: Capitals ML (+115)
These teams sure do have a history. The Capitals (41-21-7) are attempting to hold their stature as the top seed in the Metropolitan Division as well as letting the Penguins (37-23-9) -- who currently hold the East’s top Wild Card spot – know who is boss in the Division.
With Washington playing as well as they have been down the stretch (they’ve won a league-best seven in a row), this should be no issue for them. It’ll be interesting to see what F Carl Hagelin brings to the table, as it’s the first time he’s playing as a Capital against the Penguins, his former team with whom he won two Stanley Cups.
Pittsburgh has been playing with some snarl. They managed to widen the gap over Columbus and Montreal to four points. They’ve gone 5-1-2 over the last eight and have played good teams in that span. This is about the time when the Pens come alive each season, so look for them to give F Alex Ovechkin some trouble here. In the end though, the Capitals should continue to streak.
DEVILS (+320) at FLAMES (-400), 9 p.m.
Pick: Flames ML (-400)
Pick: Under (6)
Same old story when it comes to the Devils (25-35-9). They will fight hard until the very end but inevitably blow it. This is good news for the #TankForHughes movement. The bad news is that locker room must be a sad place to be after each and every game. Goaltending has been great, the offense just can’t get anything going.
The Flames (42-20-7) are one of the best teams in the West. Last time these two teams met, Calgary took it by a score of 2-1. Usually the Flames are an offensive dynamo with all of the talent littered throughout their roster, but New Jersey seems to make them struggle. NJ has a top 5 penalty kill in the league this year and for good reason. D Andy Greene has been a workhorse for them this year. Look for that to continue. It’s going to be a low-scoring game but if you like defensive hockey and stellar net-minding, this is the match-up for you.