Washington Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) is mobbed by his teammates after he scored a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
- The Boston Bruins are -154 road favorites over the Washington Capitals in their NHL game on Saturday, January 30th at 7 PM EST
- Robert Duff split his last two picks, bringing his NHL record to 4-2 (+1.06 units)
- The Capitals have won eight of the last nine games against the Bruins that were played in Washington
Two of the NHL’s hottest teams will clash on a busy NHL Saturday as the Washington Capitals play host to the Boston Bruins.
Boston has won four straight games. Washington has claimed points from every game this season, opening 5-0-3. The Capitals (13 points) lead the East Division by two points over the Bruins.
The Capitals are 3-0-1 while playing the last four games minus goalie Ilya Samsonov, captain Alex Ovechkin, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, and defenseman Dmitry Orlov. All are in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
Washington, it would seem, are making believers out of everyone except the oddsmakers. Boston is the -154 road favorite in Saturday’s game. It’s the seventh straight game that the Capitals are the betting underdog.
Boston Bruins vs Washington Capitals Odds
|Boston Bruins||-154||-1.5 (+270)||O 5.5 (-115)|
|Washington Capitals||+130||+1.5 (-208)||U 5.5 (-105)|
Odds taken Jan. 29th at BetMGM
The puck drop is slated for 7 PM EST at the Capital One Center. The game is being broadcast regionally by NBC Sports Washington and NESN.
Washington’s Record Pace
After falling behind 3-0 after 20 minutes to the New York Islanders, Washington scored five unanswered second-period goals, rallying for a 6-3 victory. It was the first time all season that the Capitals found themselves facing a multi-goal deficit.
Gaining points in each of the first eight games of the season is a franchise record. Washington rookie goalie Vitek Vanecek is 4-0-2 through the first six starts of his NHL career.
Start your day with these 18 seconds of pure bliss.#ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/sdixgWdcx5
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 29, 2021
Forward Conor Sheary scored his first two goals as a Capital in Thursday’s win. Washington’s COVID-19 absences brought Sheary back into the lineup after he was a healthy scratch for two games.
Defenseman Justin Schultz has supplied three straight multi-point games. Center Nicklas Backstrom is riding a four-game point streak (2-2-4).
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
Chara Looms Large
This will mark the first meeting between the Bruins and former captain Zdeno Chara. The Norris Trophy-winning defenseman left Boston after four seasons to sign with the Capitals as a free agent.
Chara collected a goal and an assist in Thursday’s win, becoming the fifth defenseman in NHL history to post a multi-point game after his 43rd birthday.
The 6-foot-9 Chara is averaging 20:29 of ice time. He’s skated over 22 minutes in each of the past three games and is on pace to be the first player his age to skate over 20 minutes a game in NHL history.
Besides the COVID-19 quartet of absences, Capitals center Lars Eller (upper-body injury) also missed Thursday’s win. Forward Tom Wilson (lower-body injury) returned Thursday from a two-game absence and scored a power-play goal.
Boston forward David Pastrnak, whose 48 goals last season gave him a share of the Rocket Richard Trophy with Ovechkin, is expecting to make his season debut on Saturday. He underwent offseason hip surgery.
David Pastrnak: “I feel great. … I feel ready. I feel 100 percent.”
“I’m pretty sure I’m ready to go.” pic.twitter.com/mtYUaWyfcI
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 29, 2021
Bruins forwards Jake DeBrusk (lower-body) and Ondrej Kase (upper body) are out. Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (lower body) was hurt Thursday against the Penguins and is doubtful for Saturday.
Grzelcyk just returned from a leg injury, but this latest ailment isn’t related to that problem.
The Capitals have beaten the Bruins in eight of the past nine games the two teams have played in Washington. The Caps are 3-0-1 at home this season.
#NHLBRUINS WIN!!! 🙌
4-1 over the Penguins at TD Garden! pic.twitter.com/UntpYf4V3J
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 29, 2021
Boston comes to the capital off back-to-back wins over Pittsburgh. Washington went 0-0-2 against the Penguins.
Pick: Washington Capitals (+130) – 1.0 unit
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.