Sabres vs. Capitals NHL Pick – December 21st

The Washington Capitals found out against the Pittsburgh Penguins that everything must come to an end. The streak was broken, as Sidney Crosby and the Penguins edged out Ovechkin and the Capitals by a score of 2-1. The matchup was highlighted by Tom Wilson and Jamie Oleksiak getting into a fight. It wasn’t much of a fight, as Wilson KO’d Oleksiak in quick order. The only highlight of the game for Ovechkin was an argument with Crosby on the bench.

Ovechkin was held without a point for the first time since November 14th against the Jets. Since that point, Ovechkin scored a whopping 17 goals and 23 points in total. That came to an end against his rivals. Other than last season in the playoffs, the Pens have really had his number.

Crosby still owns 3 Stanley Cups to Ovechkin’s 1, so despite what happened last season, I know who has had it better in their career. Let’s not count Ovechkin out, though. After all, he looks like a guy in the prime of his career at the moment.

Along with the Ovechkin streak getting snapped, it was the first time in 15 games that the Capitals were held to less than 3 goals. And of all people to hold them to 1 goal was Matt Murray. Murray who has been awful this season, put together a marquee performance against the Caps.

That’s been the exception for him this season, so let’s see where the immediate future goes for him. While the Caps may have lost, there is no discrediting that epic run Ovi and the team went on offensively. They are winners in five of their last six games. Sportsbooks would have been maxed out with Capitals money if people knew the Pens were going to score just 2 goals. Washington can bounce back on Friday night against the Sabres. Buffalo is trying to find the same rhythm that got them ten straight wins. Head below for our free Sabres vs. Capitals pick.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Washington Capitals Pick

The Sabres went from unbeatable to looking out of sorts rather quickly. Following a five-game winning streak, the Sabres lost five in a row. It’s expected for a team like the Sabres, who aren’t really familiar with success, to go cold after such a monster run. Also note that nearly all of their wins during that winning streak were by 1 goal, a lot came in overtime or a shootout. Usually close games stop going in the direction of average teams eventually.

Great teams will win games like that in the playoffs, when just about every game is played tight, but it has less meaning in November and December. Buffalo have won just three of their last ten games to set them in the wrong direction. Nonetheless, they still own a 20-10-4 record, which is almost identical to the 20-10-2 record for the Caps. There is one team I have more confidence in going forward and in this matchup, though.

The defence has been the biggest target of blame for the Sabres since their ten-game streak was broken up. Buffalo have allowed 3.4 goals per game on average since it ended. In seven of eight games, they allowed the opposition to score 2 or less goals.

However, that effort has been difficult to find now, and the offence has been held to 2.8 goals per game in their previous ten outings. The Sabres have noticed 2.89 goals on the road, compared to an impressive 3.65 goals per game for the Caps at home.

Washington has gone 13-3 over the Sabres in their last sixteen tilts, and 6-1 in their last seven. The price on the puckline for the Capitals to win by more than a goal looks mighty fine to me. I’d take the juicy plus odds and bank on the Capitals rebounding after the loss against Pittsburgh.

The Bet
CAPITALS -1.5
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.