The Washington Capitals play host to the New Jersey Devils at Capital One Arena on Saturday night. On a side note, it appears that Capital One Arena may be the first sports venue in North America to have a sportsbook. If sports teams are looking for ways to attract fans to the game, then sportsbooks seem like a logical idea. This isn’t anything new in Europe, where professional football stadiums host betting stations for sports wagering.
In-stadium betting has been around for years across the pond, and North America looks poised to making it normal here. Capital One Arena would take in a plethora of cash on the Capitals. As long as the Capitals are still a top team, you’re going to be hard pressed to find money fading them in-stadium at home.
The Capitals are coming off a tough luck 3-2 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night. They couldn’t get the equalizer in the third period, as the Flyers were able to hang on for a 3-2 win. Washington were playing on a back-to-back in that one after downing the Senators by a score of 6-1.
After pouring it on against the Sens, the Capitals didn’t leave enough in the tank for the final stages of their next game. It was a tough spot for the Capitals, though they are still in a terrific position in the Metropolitan with a record of 30-10-5 and 65 points. That said, the Penguins are coming on strong and are nearing the return of Sidney Crosby to the lineup. The Capitals are only up by 6 points in the division following a monster Penguins’ win in Denver last night.
It wasn’t too long ago that the Capitals were in the clear with a 10+ point lead over the rest of the competition in the Metropolitan. However, things can sure change in a hurry in the NHL, and the Capitals cannot afford any slow down in the second-half. Ovechkin will once again be taking the All-Star Game off to focus on the next stage of the regular season.
The only thing that’s going to excite Ovechkin these days is another Stanley Cup and breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record of 894 regular season goals. He enters Saturday leading the Capitals with 26 goals and second in points with 42 on the season. John Carlson, who looks like a lock for the Norris Trophy, leads the Capitals with 54 points. The Devils have a challenge on their hands tonight, as they look to play better than they did in a 6-3 loss against the Caps a few weeks ago. Head below for our free Devils vs. Capitals pick.
New Jersey Devils vs. Washington Capitals Betting Odds:
Devils vs. Capitals Prediction:
The Devils must find a way to slow down the high-octane Capitals’ offence on Saturday night. They haven’t been able to slow down many offences this season, including the Capitals who made it look easy in their first meeting. Nicklas Backstrom led all scorers with 2 goals, and he also chipped in with 2 assists for a monster night at the Prudential Center.
The Capitals chased Mackenzie Blackwood out of the game after he gave up 5 goals on 26 shots. Gilles Senn gave up a goal in relief on just 3 shots. Between their final match against the Devils last season and the first in 2019-20, the Capitals have scored 10 goals in the last 120 minutes of play.
New Jersey has been under a lot of pressure in their defensive zone against the majority of opponents this season. It certainly doesn’t help when the goaltending has been inconsistent as well. Blackwood has settled in as the starting netminder, but he hasn’t looked like a starter at times. He goes into Washington with a shaky 2.97 GAA and 0.905 save percentage in 34 games.
Blackwood has been lost in the park against the Capitals in his career. The high-powered Capitals’ offence has gotten to Blackwood to give him a 3.94 GAA and 0.867 save percentage. The Capitals who are coming off a below average performance, and a couple of days off, doesn’t bode well for Blackwood.
Washington are 4th in the NHL with 3.56 goals scored per game. In their previous ten games, they’ve eclipsed that for 3.8 goals a game, despite only 2 goals versus the Flyers in their most recent outing. The Devils have allowed the same, with 3.8 goals against in their last ten showings. Expect to see the Capitals eclipse that and take out a bit of frustration against the Devils following a sloppy performance Wednesday.
Braden Holtby is scheduled to take the crease for the Capitals in this one. He has not been dependable on the road this year, having posted a 3.30 GAA and 0.892 save percentage. As a team, the Caps have yielded just over 3 goals per game in 2019-20. The Capitals are too expensive to win here, but there should be at least 7 goals on the board regardless of the winning side on Saturday night.