Washington vs Ottawa Pick
NHL Betting action sees the Washington Capitals head to Canada’s national capital to take on the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday, February 5. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping all season long.
District of Columbia’s Capitals and their sizzling statistics travel north to Ottawa to take on Bobby Ryan… I mean, the Senators.
Washington vs Ottawa
Date/Time: Thursday, Feb. 5 2015, 7:30 pm EST
Venue: Canadian Tire Centre, Kanata ON
Broadcast: RSN, (Rogers in Canada)
Washington -130, Ottawa EVEN
Ottawa is down near the bottom of its division, while Washington is pushing for a playoff run that has sustenance to it.
Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson is an offensive specimen on the blueline; a QB not just of the defense or the power-play unit, but the entire team. Yet, even Karlsson’s wizardry hasn’t been enough for the Senators in 2014-15.
The Sens are 20-20-9 on the campaign, for 49 points that rank sixth in the Atlantic division. Ottawa is a point up on the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs, their provincial cousins which are even worse – ironic considering Ontario is one of the more passionate hotbeds on the planet for this sport.
This must have the Caps licking their chops. Washington has played well under new coach Barry Trotz, while star Alex Ovechkin is playing some of the best all-around hockey of his career.
Center Nicklas Backstrom is having a huge year, reaping the benefits of “The Great 8” though the Swede is an excellent playmaker in his own right.
The Capitals are strong scoring 5-on-5, have received solid goaltending and are lethal on the power-play (ranking seventh, eighth, and third in the NHL, respectively, in these categories).
All this probably spells doom for the home team. The magic goaltending that sustained Ottawa in years past has dried up, plus starter Craig Anderson went on the disabled list Feb. 2. The Sens are coming off a 2-1 loss to the lowly New Jersey Devils, to make matters worse.
If we’re looking silver lining, the aforementioned Ryan is the most talented player in Ottawa. Late-blooming center Kyle Turris has some hands, also.
Furthermore, the Senators have some young pieces – Karlsson is only 24 and leading goal scorer Mike Hoffman looks good also – but there still needs to be a rebuild in Ottawa.
Look for Washington to pump some goals by Ottawa backup Robin Lehner, who might not be the franchise saviour that Sens fans were claiming just a year or two ago.
The book on the visitors is that they are generally lethal in regular season but wilt in the playoffs; the Capitals will look to change that image this season under cagey veteran coach Trotz.
4* NHL Free play: Washington 4, Ottawa 2
He is new to the Capitals, but has years of experience behind the Nashville Predators’ bench.
Take the OVER
On Thursday night in Canada’s capital, look for their American counterparts to dictate the play.