The NHL is set up with a great slate of games throughout February 1. Five games are up on the board throughout Monday night. One of these games will be between the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals. These two teams have been able to start out strong this season, which will help lead to a good game. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
The Bruins have earned a record of 5-1-2 throughout the early portion of this season, which has them sitting in third place of the East Division. Boston is coming off a loss in their last game, which ended a four game losing streak. The Bruins will look to get back in the win column with a much needed victory on Monday night.
Washington has been able to put up a record of 6-0-3 so far this season, which has them in the top spot of the East Division. The Capitals have won three straight games entering this one. Washington is starting to get healthy after their COVID-19 issues and will look to keep up the winning. The Capitals have not lost in regulation this season, which they will look to keep going in this one.
These two teams have had strong starts to this season, which has them sitting in playoff spots to this point in the season. Boston is coming off an overtime loss against the Capitals on Saturday night and will look to bounce back in this one. I expect the Bruins to try and come out quicker in this one as they look to get a big win against Washington.
The Bruins and the Capitals met up four times throughout last season. The first game was hosted by Boston, where Travis Boyd and T.J. Oshie scored to force overtime. Jakub Vrana scored a goal in the shootout to give Washington a 3-2 win. The second gams shifted back to Washington. T.J. Oshie scored two goals to help lead the Capitals to another 3-2 win.
The third game moved back to Boston. David Krejci and Brad Marchand both scored a goal and two assists. David Pastrnak had three assists, while Patrice Bergeron scored two goals. The Bruins were able to dominate for a 7-3 win. The final game was during the qualifiers. T.J. Oshie and Tom Wilson scored as well to help give the Capitals a 2-1 win.
The first game of this season’s series was on January 30 in Washington. Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists as the Capitals had a 3-0 lead in the second. Patrice Bergeron had three assists, while Charlie McAvoy had a goal and an assist to tie it up. Alex Ovechkin had a goal in overtime and an assist in regulation to lead Washington to a 4-3 win.
These two teams have met up five times over this season and last. Washington was able to win four of those five games. I expect the Capitals to try and come out hot in this one as they try to keep that winning streak up. The Bruins had a strong second half of the game on Saturday night, and if they can come out quicker in this one, it could help them bounce back with a win.
Boston has been strong on special teams throughout this season. The Bruins have capitalized on 9 of their 26 power play opportunities, which is a 34.6 percent power play. Boston’s penalty kill has been doing just as well. The Bruins have killed off 27 of opposing teams 30 power play chances, which is a 90 percent kill rate. Boston will look to keep it up in this one.
The Capitals have been dangerous on the power play this season, but their penalty kill has struggled early. Washington has scored on 8 of their 18 power play attempts, which is a 44.4 percent success rate. The Capitals have given up 8 goals on 33 penalties against, which is a 75.8 percent penalty kill. Washington will need to improve on the penalty kill a bit in this one.
These two teams have been very strong on the power play early in this season. The Bruins own the edge on the penalty kill though this season. Washington has been able to score on more effectively on the power play, but they could get slowed down by Boston. These two teams will look to get going early on special teams in this one as they try to gain the edge.
I expect Tuukka Rask to get the nod in the crease for the Bruins in this matchup. Rask has earned a record of 3-1-1 throughout his five starts this season. He has earned a save percentage of .890 and a 2.49 GAA through those starts. Rask stopped 19 of 23 shots against the Capitals on Saturday night in the overtime loss. Boston will look for Rask to improve in this one.
Vitek Vanecek will likely get the start in the net for Washington on Monday night. Vanecek has started in seven games this season, earning a record of 5-0-2. He has put up a .918 save percentage and a GAA of 2.78 throughout those games. Vanecek turned away 40 of 43 shots against the Bruins in the win. The Capitals will look for Vanecek continue to step up as Ilya Samsonov continues to be out.
These two goalies have had solid starts to this season, but Vancek has put up a stronger save percentage. The Capitals will look for him to continue to step up in this one. Rask has hit a tough patch early in this season, but he still has plenty of time to bounce back. Boston will look to come out hot in this one as he searches for a win.
The Bruins are coming into this one after losing to the Capitals on Saturday night. I think that Boston will come out quicker in this one after having to come from behind on Saturday. Washington has not lost in regulation this season and will look to continue to rack in this points in this one. The Bruins will look to finally hand the Capitals their first regulation loss.
BetOnline has Boston listed as a -142 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Bruins will win this game around 58.7 percent of the time. I agree with this line, but I do not see a lot of value in it. Boston is also listed as a -1 ½ at (+170). I think the Bruins will finally hand Washington their first regulation loss, which gives -1 ½ a lot of value in this one.