As we head into the final week of regular season action in the NHL, it’s a quiet day on Monday with just two games. The Washington Capitals, who looked like they had tapped out for the season having lost 5-1 at home to the Buffalo Sabres last Monday, have actually won two straight to move to points up on Buffalo for the final playoff spot in the East.
On Monday, they’ll be faced with a very winnable game against a team with some serious goaltending issues. It’s tempting to take Washington knowing that the Lightning might be putting Dwayne Roloson in net. He’s only given up 37 goals in his last 10 appearances, which is just awful when you consider he’s only started seven of those games.
With Roloson in net, the Caps are a lock to score at least three goals and probably put themselves in great shape for the win.
Tampa Bay might turn to Sebastian Caron, who made his first start in net since the 2006-07 season this past Saturday. The fact that Tampa Bay would turn to him shows just how dire their situation is.
But the problem here is that Washington’s goaltending circumstances aren’t much better. Tomas Vokoun is out – and possibly out for the season – which means that Michal Neuvirth is likely to be in charge the rest of the way. He’s faced Tampa Bay twice this season and coughed up nine goals in the process. If he’s going to give up four goals on the road, the Capitals are not likely to get the win.
The full preview can be seen in the NHL section but in short, as I’ve alluded to in this writeup as well, both teams have issues in net. The over is the play that makes the most sense.
NHL Picks: Over
Edmonton Oilers at Los Angeles Kings
NHL Odds: Over/Under 5
The Los Angeles Kings rarely deserve to be -230 favorites unless their opponent is forced to play shorthanded the entire 60 minutes. That’s somewhat the case as they face the hapless Edmonton Oilers on Monday, who are in a back-to-back situation and also playing their third game in four nights.
But even so, the Kings are also in their third game in four nights as these two teams met up last Friday.
The Kings are a tough team to figure out as we generally know that they’ll play a low scoring contest and their win (or loss) will depend on if they can get to three or four goals.
Devan Dubnyk has played well against the Kings, posting a career 2.38 GAA but he started on Sunday, so it’s unclear whether he’d get a shot in back-to-back games. Meanwhile, Nikolai Khabibulin has a GAA of 2.00 against the Kings this season and is 20-12-1 (with one tie) for his career against them.
Laying this much juice with Los Angeles is crazy. Take the under instead.