National Hockey League: WSH vs. PIT
Washington Capitals (0-0) at Pittsburgh Penguins (0-0)
October 13, 2016- 7:00 PM ET (TV NBCSN) PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
In what is sure to be an electric atmosphere at PPG Arena, the Pittsburgh Penguins will take to the ice for the start of their 2016 season when they welcome in the Washington Capitals on Thursday night in an season-opening clash that has the following betting lines;
Best Capitals Lines: MyBookie ML (-115) Spread -1.5
Best Penguins Lines: 5Dimes ML (-105) Spread +1.5
Over/Under: BetOnline 5.0
Nothing like a pregame banner raising and ring ceremony to get the juices flowing, but one vital piece of the Penguins will be missing once the puck is dropped and that is Sidney Crosby.
Back on the ice to begin their quest of defending their Stanley Cup title; their fourth in franchise history, the Pens have learned Crosby will not be in action as he is dealing with a concussion. Of course, this is a situation the Pens have dealt with before with Crosby, who suffered concussions in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons that caused him to miss big chunks of those seasons.
Pittsburgh is hoping Crosby’s latest bout with concussion like symptoms will be a short one this time around as he has been participating in practice.
And while Crosby will be out, so will goaltender Matt Murray, who suffered a broken hand during the World Cup. With their Stanley Cup winning goaltending out of action, the Pens will once again turn to Marc-Andre Fleury… the man who lost his starting job to Murray.
As for the Capitals, last season ended with great disappointment as they were the best team during the course of the regular-season with 120 points. Finishing 16 points better than the Pens, it didn’t matter as they lost three of five to the Pens during the regular-season and were eliminated in the postseason in six games by their biggest nemesis.
Much like the Pens of last season, the Capitals will be locked and loaded in hopes of a repeat performance, while being able to finally get over the Pittsburgh hump.
Washington captain Alex Ovechkin will once again be looked upon to lead the Capitals and hopefully finally capture a finals ring.
Back in goal for the Capitals will be Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Braden Holtby.
Both teams will be fired-up to get the puck dropped in this one, but can the Penguins shake-off the ceremony festivities and focus to business on the ice? No Crosby in the line-up may make the difference as MyBookie is favoring WSH (-115 ML) over PIT with an over/under of 5.0 total game goals scored.
Leaning on the Capitals in what should be a good one, I will favor Washington in a moneyline (-115) win over Pittsburgh to get their season started.