Capital One Arena plays host to an East-West tilt as the Chicago Blackhawks face off against the Washington Capitals. NBC Sports Network will showcase the game, and the action gets going at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 6.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Washington Capitals Odds
With a moneyline of -150, Washington comes into the contest as the obvious favorite. The line for Chicago sits at +130 and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-105 for the over, -115 for the under).
The Capitals are 16-12 straight up (SU) and have earned 1.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. That early-season winning percentage is a noticeable slide from what the team recorded during last year’s regular season (55-27). Through 28 regular season contests, 15 of the team’s games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and none have pushed. This year, the team’s 10-5 SU at home.
Washington’s been able to convert on 21.7 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 22nd overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.0 percent of all penalties.
As a team, Washington has been whistled for penalties 4.5 times per game overall this season, and 3.2 per game over its last five outings at home. The team’s had to defend opponent power plays for just 8.8 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, overall.
Boasting a .919 save percentage and 28.9 saves per game, Braden Holtby (14-6) has been the primary option in goal for the Capitals this season. If they, however, decide to give him the evening off, head coach Barry Trotz could turn to Philipp Grubauer (2-8-8 record, .893 save percentage, 3.21 goals against average).
The Caps will continue to lean on the leadership out of Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin. Kuznetsov (30 points) has tallied nine goals and 21 assists and has recorded multiple points on eight separate occasions this year. Ovechkin has 20 goals and eight assists to his name and has notched a point in 16 contests.
On the other side of the ice, Chicago is 12-15 straight up (SU) and has lost 6.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 27 regular season contests, 14 of its games have gone under the total, while 12 have gone over and just one has pushed. Chicago’s 6-8 SU as an away team this season.
Chicago has converted on just 16.2 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that places it in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked sixth overall and it’s successfully defended 83.5 percent of all opponent power plays.
Chicago’s players have been called for penalties 4.0 times per game in total this season, 3.6 per game over their last five outings total, and 4.2 per game over their last five road outings. The team’s had to stave off opponent power plays just 7.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Corey Crawford (2.29 goals against average and .930 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Chicago. Crawford is averaging 29.2 saves per game and owns an 11-10-2 record.
For the visiting Blackhawks, the offense will run through Patrick Kane (10 goals, 17 assists) and Alex DeBrincat (11 goals, eight assists).
Chicago Blackhawks at Washington Capitals Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Blackhawks, O/U – Over
The total has gone over in three of Washington’s last five outings.
Penalties and power plays could have a critical role tonight. The Blackhawks are 8-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 7-7 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Capitals are 7-1 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 9-3 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
Washington has averaged 7.4 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 6.5 takeaways per game (ranked 22nd overall).
Chicago has scored 3.0 goals per game overall this year, but is down to 2.0 goals per match up over its four-game losing streak.
Chicago skaters have managed 5.8 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.5 takeaways per game (ranked 16th).
Washington might have an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s 7-3 in games decided by one goal, while Chicago is 3-7 in such games.