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  • NHL Free Pick | Bruins at Capitals






    It’s Game 1 of the NHL playoffs for both teams. Boston heads to Washington where the Bruins enjoyed some success against the Capitals. Boston got the best of Washington this season with a 4-2-2 head-to-head record with two wins on the Caps’ home ice.
    Despite Boston’s success against the Caps this season, it’s playoff time and Washington has been playing pretty well lately. They may be peaking at just the right time.

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    Game: Boston Bruins (33-16-7, 23-33 ATS) at Washington Capitals (36-15-5, 28-28 ATS)
    When: 7:15 PM ET, Saturday, May 15, 2021
    Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
    Current ML: WAS -130 Total: 5.5
    TV Coverage: NBC
    Always Finish Strong
    Washington won four of its last five games to end the regular season. The final game of the season was a 2-1 victory over the Bruins. Goalie Tuuka Rask didn’t play as Jeremy Swayman stepped in and stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced.
    The Capitals won seven of their last ten games and have done very well against Boston when facing the Bruins at home. Yes, they lost two games at Capital One Arena to the Bruins this year, but top sportsbooks know in the last 14 home games against Boston they are 11-3.
    The difference in this whole series could come down to Washington’s power play against Boston’s penalty kill. The Bruins were second in the NHL in penalty kill percentage this season. Washington scored more goals (9) and had more shot attempts (78) than any other team did against Boston on the power play this season. The Caps finished No. 3 in power play percentage scoring 24.8 percent of the time.

    Discipline is Key for Bruins

    Boston will need to stay out of the penalty box and they will need Taylor Hall to continue what he has been doing as of late. Boston acquired Hall at the trade deadline and he has transformed the Bruins offense.
    The Bruins were among the NHL’s worst teams in 5-on-5 before Hall. After Hall, they are one of the league’s elites. With Hall, they own a plus-126 edge in shot attempts at 5-on-5, a plus-65 edge in shots on net, and an incredible 15-1 scoring differential at 5-on-5.
    Offense has been the key for Washington all season long. The Capitals rank fifth in goals per game at 3.44. They also rank 18th in shots on goal and No. 1 in shooting percentage.

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    The Caps have plenty of scorers led by one of the best of all-time in Alexander Ovechkin. He led the team in goals with 24. Nikolas Backstrom led the Caps in points with 53. T.J. Oshie scored 23 goals and had 43 points and defenseman John Carlson had 34 assists and was second on the team in points with 44.
    Playing at home in a Game 1, the advantage that Washington has on offense is just going to be too much for Boston to handle. Rask has plenty of playoff experience with 93 games in the postseason, but he only played 24 games in the regular season this year.


    Take the Caps to win Game 1 at home.
    NHL Free Pick: WASHINGTON -130
    We had the UNDER in our Red Wings at Blue Jackets free pick. It didn’t go so well, but see why we liked the UNDER.

    This article was originally published in blog: NHL Free Pick | Bruins at Capitals started by IE
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