I took the weekend off of my free NHL picks, however we’re right back at it for this five-game Monday schedule!
Briefly, let’s recap a 1-1 Friday night, first.
I had the Carolina Hurricanes to take care of the Arizona Coyotes in regulation time at -125 odds, and take of them they did.
In fact, the Hurricanes posted their second consecutive shutout while delivering the Coyotes their second consecutive shutout in a 3-0 win that easily netted us a unit’s win.
However, I also had the Colorado Avalanche in regulation over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins, a pick they did not end well.
Not only did the Pens take the Avs into overtime to sink our pick, they completed the upset in the extra frame and took this by a 4-3 score to deliver us a unit’s loss.
That said, we were dead even with our units with a 1-1 night as I turn my attention to Monday night’s action.
Season Record: 75-60-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Hurricanes vs. Capitals from Capital One Arena in Washington!
Hurricanes vs. Capitals Betting Odds
- Hurricanes (+122)
- Capitals (-135)
- Hurricanes +1.5 (-199)
- Capitals -1.5 (+174)
- Over 6.5 (-104)
- Under 6.5 (-106)
Hurricanes vs. Capitals NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these teams before I get into my final pick!
As noted above, the Hurricanes are on quite the defensive roll right now as they issued shutouts to the Coyotes and Kings over the weekend and will carry a three-game win streak into this one tonight.
All three of those wins came at home, however, and the ‘Canes will look to get their road game back in order after dropping each of their last two on the road, albeit in tough venues against these Capitals and the white-hot Tampa Bay Lightning (until last night, at least).
Their offense has remained potent on the road and while it’s not at the level of their seventh-ranked 3.48 goals per game at home, the Hurricanes are still tied for 11th with a healthy 3.09 goals per game on the road where their power play has also remained potent with a 10th-ranked 20.8% clip.
Defensively, the Hurricanes are a top-10 road defense where their 2.86 goals against per game are tied for eighth while they are just one of a handful of teams to be on the positive side of the average shot differential with a mark of +1.7.
Of course, that lends itself well to the advanced possession metrics which are quite favorable of the ‘Canes work
At 5v5 on the road, the Hurricanes rank second with a 52.91% Corsi For%, fifth with a 50.91% Scoring Chances For% and 12th with a 48.48% High-Danger Chances For%.
While the back-to-back shutouts are nice, goaltending as been an issue for this team, as expected, this season, and it will be up to Petr Mrazek to keep the good times rollin’ on the back end tonight.
Mrazek was responsible for the first of the two shutouts over the weekend as he turned aside all 32 shots he faced in that one.
Perhaps that outing gives him some confidence moving forward as it snapped a rather tough stretch for him. Mrazek posted an .885 Sv% or under in five of his six previous starts and put together an .880 Sv% in that stretch overall, losing four of the six.
He’s also not been very good on the road where he’s posted a 3.09 GAA and .898 Sv% on the season and he’s been roughed up by the Capitals in two starts this season to the tune of a 4.03 GAA and .862 Sv%, but also has one win in that time despite allowing four goals on 29 shots in each of those starts, interestingly.
The last couple of games haven’t been the best we’ve seen from Washington this season as they dropped a 3-2 decision in Philadelphia before being embarrassed in a 5-1 home loss to the lowly New Jersey Devils.
The Caps high-octane offense has just three goals over their last two games after scoring 4.40 goals per game over their previous five, so a cooling off was likely due.
They did outshoot the Devils 34-21 on Saturday, but couldn’t get much in terms of goaltending in that one.
Nonetheless, the Capitals still sit in a tie for eighth with 3.45 goals per game at home this season, although it’s been interesting to see their home power play scuffle – given the talent on board – with an 18.2% clip that sits in a tie for 21st league wide.
On other end of their home special teams has been dynamite, however, as the Capitals rank third with an 87.3% mark on the penalty kill on home ice.
Like with the ‘Canes, the Caps sport some impressive possession metrics as well.
The Capitals rank eighth with a 53% Corsi For% at 5v5 at home, 12th with a 53.19% Scoring Chances For% and 17th with a 52.47% High-Danger Chances For%.
Goaltending was an issue against the Devils, but that was on Braden Holtby who allowed four goals on those 21 shots, but tonight’s start will go to rookie Ilya Samsonov who has been the better of the two netminders to this point in the season.
Samsonov has posted a 2.24 GAA and .921 Sv% on the season, going 12-2-1 in the process.
He’s just 4-2-1 at home, however, despite posting a 2.32 GAA and .923 Sv% in that time. Tonight will mark just his seventh home start of the season.
Samsonov was sharp in stopping 38 of 41 Hurricanes shots in a victory against them just 10 days ago, that one taking place in Raleigh.
Tonight marks the third matchup between these two teams in a little over two weeks after they met in the first round of the playoffs last season and the Hurricanes taking the Capitals out in seven games.
I think a repeat of that success will take place tonight.
The biggest thing that stands out to me here is the white-hot Hurricanes defense taking on a Capitals offense that’s cooled right off. If the Capitals were firing on all cylinders it’s a different story, to be quite honest.
Samsonov has been real good this season and good at home, but I expect the Hurricanes to put plenty more rubber on goal tonight which should lead to more offense.
They’ve won three in a row entering this one and the Capitals have lost two in a row.
The Capitals have struggled on the power play at home and the Hurricanes have regained their form on the penalty kill, going a perfect 9 for 9 over their last four games.
I think we have some value in the hot road team tonight, so give me the Hurricanes on the moneyline as road dogs.