Pittsburgh (2-2) at Washington (2-2)
When: Saturday, May 5th 2018
Where: Capital One Arena, Wash. DC
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Washington -120/5.5
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The Washington Capitals eased some pressure when they took a 2-1 series lead over their rival Pittsburgh Penguins, but now come back home with the series tied 2-2 as they failed to take advantage in Game 4. Capital One Arena will be the setting for Game 5, right after the Kentucky Derby airs on NBC, as the Penguins and Capitals continue their heated series on Saturday night. The Penguins defense stepped-up in Game 4, not only holding the Capitals to just 21 shots on goal, but just three in the third period. Alex Ovechkin’s goal streak ended at four, as the Russian superstar failed to record a shot on net. Ovechkin boasts eight goals in 10 playoff games, including five in a four-game span before being held off the scoresheet on Thursday. Forward Jake Guentzel continued his push for the Conn Smythe for Pittsburgh with two goals and seven shots in Game 4 – giving him NHL bests of 10 goals and 21 points in the postseason, including eight points (4,4) in the series. Captain Sidney Crosby added to assists to give him 183 career playoff points, tied with Bryan Trottier and Nicklas Lidstrom for 11th in NHL history and two behind Steve Yzerman for 10th.
Guentzel, who added an empty-netter on Thursday, is the first player since Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier in 1988 to reach 20 points in 10 or fewer playoff games during one season. Goalie Matt Murray, who had two shutouts in the first four games of the postseason against the Philadelphia Flyers, gave up one goal Thursday after allowing 17 in the previous five games. Left-winger Carl Hagelin returned to the lineup for Game 4 after missing the previous three with an upper-body injury.
While Tom Wilson is serving his three-game suspension, Devante Smith-Pelley moved onto the first line, but did not have a shot while playing with Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov (five shots). Olympic-hero T.J. Oshie snapped a four-game pointless streak with his fourth goal of the playoffs in Game 4 on the power play, but has been held to five total shots over his last five games. John Carlson has 10 points and Brooks Orpik boasts +6 rating to lead the defense in the playoffs for Washington. Goalie Braden Holtby continues his stellar play since taking over in Game 3 of the first round to record a 2.07 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.
Pittsburgh’s defense looked terrific in Game 4, and that’s not good news for the Capitals. The Penguins are also 4-1 on the road – a team obviously not intimidated in the opposing arena. I see Pittsburgh taking control of this series and putting the Capitals on the brink of another elimination.
Pick: Penguins +100
- Penguins are 6-1 in their last 7 road games.
- Penguins are 14-6 in their last 20 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Penguins are 70-33 in their last 103 vs. Metropolitan.
- Penguins are 2-6 in their last 8 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Penguins are 1-6 in their last 7 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Capitals are 6-2 in their last 8 vs. Metropolitan.
- Capitals are 6-2 in their last 8 overall.
- Capitals are 6-2 in their last 8 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Capitals are 19-7 in their last 26 Saturday games.
- Capitals are 21-8 in their last 29 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Capitals are 74-30 in their last 104 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Capitals are 92-39 in their last 131 home games.
- Capitals are 37-16 in their last 53 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Capitals are 76-33 in their last 109 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Capitals are 53-26 in their last 79 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 2-0-2 in Penguins last 4 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Under is 3-0-2 in Penguins last 5 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Under is 3-0-2 in Penguins last 5 games following a win.
- Over is 11-2-3 in Penguins last 16 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Over is 4-1 in Penguins last 5 Saturday games.
- Under is 4-1 in Penguins last 5 Conference Semifinals games.
- Over is 12-4-1 in Penguins last 17 road games.
- Over is 20-9-3 in Penguins last 32 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Over is 7-1 in Capitals last 8 Saturday games.
- Under is 6-1 in Capitals last 7 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Under is 18-7-6 in Capitals last 31 Conference Semifinals games.
- Over is 5-2-1 in Capitals last 8 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Over is 5-2 in Capitals last 7 home games.
- Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Washington.
- Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.