Capitals vs. Hurricanes NHL Pick – January 3rd

The Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes meet for a rematch from this past Saturday night at PNC Arena. The setting will remain the same, as they’ll meet again at the home of the Hurricanes in Raleigh. Since that loss, the Capitals have played only one game, which resulted in a 4-3 loss against the New York Islanders on New Year’s Eve.

Without too many miles on their legs this week, the Capitals should expected to be fresh and ready to go on Friday night. The Capitals have found a lot of success this season, but they’ve won just one of their previous four games. Their worst loss was a porous performance against the Bruins before the Christmas break. Boston poured it on in a 7-3 shellacking, as the Capitals had no answer against a team they’ve historically dominated.

Washington enter Friday night with a record of 27-9-5 and 59 points for 1st in the Metropolitan. They aren’t under threat of coughing up their lead in the division at the moment, but they have to avoid allowing a cold couple of weeks to snowball. With the Bruins managing to record only a point against the Blue Jackets at TD Garden last night, the Capitals and Bruins are tied in the Eastern Conference with 59 points.

The Capitals hold a 6-point advantage on the Islanders in the Metropolitan, who fell against the New Jersey Devils last night. Washington heated up in mid-October with wins in 10 of 11 games, which lasted nearly a month. They cooled down for a minute, and then heated up towards the end of November again. The Caps were victorious in 8 of their next 9 games, but have since gone back to a cooling off period. We’ll see if the trend continues and the Capitals can catch fire soon again. It’s going to happen eventually, but the question is whether a new hot streak begins tonight in Raleigh.

Carolina has maintained control over the Capitals in their most recent meetings. The Hurricanes has had their number, with four straight wins over Washington. There aren’t too many teams in the NHL who can claim that much against the Capitals. Along with a four-game winning streak, the Hurricanes are 6-1 in their last seven meetings.

There are some teams that match up well versus others and that’s been the case here for the Hurricanes. If the Capitals and Hurricanes meet in the playoffs, don’t expect to see an intimidated Canes squad in that one. Following their 4-3 win on Saturday, the Hurricanes emerged with a 3-1 victory over the Canadiens on New Year’s Eve. In other words, both teams should be fresh, having played only two games since Saturday. Head below for our free Capitals vs. Hurricanes pick.

Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Odds:

Spread:

  • Capitals +1.5 (-230)
  • Hurricanes -1.5 (+190)
Moneyline:

  • Flyers (+105)
  • Coyotes (-125)
Total Points:

  • Over 6.5 (+100)
  • Under 6.5 (-120)

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Capitals vs. Hurricanes Prediction:

The Capitals will look to get their defence in order on Friday night after allowing 10 goals in their last two outings. Braden Holtby has been all the way up and down this season. He started out in 2019-20 ice cold, though managed to stabilize and everything looked like it was going to be alright.

Ilya Samsonov was coming on hard and threatening to steal the starting job between the pipes. It was about the same time that Holtby woke up and started to play better. However, Holtby has reverted back to his early struggles and is searching for answers once again. Holtby has yielded at least 4 goals in his previous three appearances, as he got whipped pretty good against the Bruins, Hurricanes, and Islanders.

Ilya Samsonov is expected to get the nod against the Hurricanes in Raleigh tonight. Samsonov has been better this season, as he sports a 2.28 GAA and 0.918 save percentage in 14 games. Having said that, the Hurricanes have been known to cause a lot of issues for the Capitals’ defence. Carolina has averaged 4.5 goals per game against the Capitals in their previous four meetings.

This is a team that has been red-hot offensively recently, too. Samsonov should expect to face a lot of pressure around his crease in this one. The Hurricanes have notched 3.9 goals per game in their last ten games, and this is a team that always seems to bring their A+ game when the Capitals are on the schedule.

Carolina are ranked 8th in the NHL with 3.35 goals scored per game. They’ve been even hotter at home, having racked up 3.67 goals a game at PNC Arena. Samsonov does provide a decent challenge for the Hurricanes, but they should be able to cause havoc in the Capitals’ zone. James Reimer is currently listed as probable to start for the Hurricanes in net. He has been okay this year with a 2.69 GAA and 0.914 save percentage. Reimer will be tasked with slowing down the 5th best offence in the league tonight.

The Capitals have recorded 3.49 goals per game on the season and a bit more on the road with 3.59 per game as a visitor. With Samsonov between the pipes, the oddsmakers are offering the OVER at even money. However, it really hasn’t mattered for the Hurricanes. They’ve been hitting the Capitals hard regardless of who’s in net or if their goaltender is hot. I anticipate a 4-3 final score, so the OVER certainly looks like decent value at this price.

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The Bet
OVER 6.5
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.