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Capitals vs. Sabers, 1:00 ET
Yesterday was a good day after all – I told you it would be sweaty, but the Blackhawks were able to escape in San Jose with a victory even with Patrick Kane not playing for them. After a high-scoring first period on both sides, the defense picked up a bit and the game ended in a shootout with the Hawks being victorious. Hopefully, we can stay in the win column, though we don’t have a +160 play like we did yesterday.
We start with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals come into this game with a pretty average record and their most recent stretch hasn’t helped them much with strengthening it. In fact, over their past five games, they’ve only escaped with one victory. That was yesterday against the New York Rangers who have their own mental issues right now with the trade deadline looming. Before that game though, the Capitals lost all six games in a row and only one of them was a one-goal game. None of the losses were in overtime which shows they aren’t playing very good hockey right now. Today they have to travel to Buffalo, which isn’t a long trip, but still a trip after winning yesterday. I am assuming that Charlie Lindgren will play goalie for them today as Darcy Kuemper was in the net yesterday. Lindgren has allowed three goals in his past three starts and the Capitals have lost six of his seven games since the start of 2023. In fairness to him, he only started five of the seven games.
The Sabers aren’t a very good home team with a losing record of 11-15-2, but they have been solid this season and are looking to make a playoff push. They are also doing the opposite of what the Capitals are doing right now. Over their last five games, the Sabers have won four of them with their only loss coming against the Maple Leafs in a brief home sandwich stop between road trips. The Sabers did beat the Capitals on the road in the first matchup between the two this season and I expect them to win this game as well. After a losing streak of their own, the Sabers seem to be playing better hockey and get the Capitals at a time when Washington isn’t. I am thinking that Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will be the netminder for the Sabers today. He’s been okay for the Sabers but has struggled lately. Maybe this will be the game he gets right. He has allowed 17 goals in just four starts this month.
This could be another sweaty bet here as the Sabers aren’t some world-beating team. I think this is a better spot for them at home, with more rest, and facing a struggling team. I’m going to back the Sabers in this one at -125. It is about as high as I like to go on juice, but sometimes the right play is worth it.
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