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St. Louis Blues at Washington Capitals Betting Preview

The Washington Capitals (35-19-10, 4th in the Metropolitan) will host the St. Louis Blues (34-18-9, 3rd in the Central) at the Capital One Arena at 7:00 pm ET.

In their only previous meeting, Washington traveled to St. Louis back in early January and were crushed 5-1.

The Blues will enter this game on a three-game winless streak, including a 5-4 loss on Saturday evening against Columbus. St. Louis is just 3-4-3 in their last ten games. Their last victory came on the road against Nashville 7-4 on March 12th.

Washington is holding down the eighth and final playoff spot out east. They are only three points behind both Boston and Toronto while holding a comfortable 13 point advantage over the Blue Jackets.

Washington is favored in this one at -140 on the moneyline vs +120 for St. Louis. The over/under is 6.

Blues Looking to Get Back in the Win Column

The Blues will be looking to get back in the winner’s column to avoid dropping from fourth in the to as low as sixth in the Western Conference playoff race. Additionally, they are just one point up on both the Predators and the Kings.

The Blues offense is prolific at 3.53 GF/GP (5th in the NHL). They have been phenomenal on the power play, ranking 3rd in PP% and 7th in PK%; this could be an area they can exploit against Washington. Defensively, they have allowed 2.79 goals per game (10th).

On the season, Jordan Kyrou has led the way with 60 points, pacing the team in goals and assists. Unfortunately for St. Louis, RW Vladimir Tarasenko (second on the team in points) will not join the team for the game tomorrow night (illness).

Others, like vet David Perron, will need to continue to step up in his absence. Perron has 10 points in his last five games, including an outstanding eight goals. He is coming off a hat trick in their loss to Columbus.

Can the Capitals Close the Gap?

Barring an epic collapse, the Capitals ought to at least hold onto their current position and make the playoffs. For Washington, the goal from this point forward needs to be to close the distance between their position and those just in front of them so as to avoid a first-round matchup against either Florida or Carolina.

Washington hasn’t had some of the flashy stats that St. Louis has, but they have been balanced and consistent. The Capitals are 7-2-1 over their last ten games, despite having dropped a tough one 3-2 at home against Dallas on Sunday.

Led by the 36-year old superstar Alex Ovechkin with 76 points (T-7th) on 40 goals (4th) and nearly as many assists (36), the Capitals have received a great boost from C Evgeny Kuznetsov (eight points on five goals in his last five games). Kuznetsov is the team leader in assists (41) and second on the team in points (62).

Take the Over

Between the ongoing playoff positioning, a rematch, and the Blues trying to break out of the mini funk, this game has all the makings of a battle.

Sports betting guides have consistently listed the over/under on this game as six. In each team’s last ten games, the Capitals are averaging 3.9 goals per game while giving up 2.8 per; St. Louis is averaging 3.3 goals scored per game and is allowing 2.9 goals per game.

In home games this season, Washington has gone 15-12-5 while St. Louis is 14-11-5 when traveling.

Ville Husso is expected to start for St. Louis; Vitek Vanecek should get the nod for the Capitals. Husso has given up 3.2 goals per game in his last five overall; his mark climbs to 3.4 goals per game in his last five road appearances. By comparison, Vanecek has allowed 3.0 goals per game in his last five and just 2.6 goals per in his last five at home.

Both teams have a lot to fight for, so it seems the over may be the best play.

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