170110-caps
Getty Images

Capitals home betting favorites against rival Penguins on Wednesday night

Leave a comment

Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals might be in position to extend their season-long win streak when they host the rival Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. The Capitals are the -125 moneyline favorite with Sidney Crosby and the Penguins listed as a slight +105 underdog at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Capitals are 7-3 in their last 10 home games as well 8-2 in their last 10 home games during the month of January, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The Penguins typically fare decently at the Verizon Center, where they are are 5-5 over their last 10 visits.

The Penguins, who are 26-8-5 on the season, are contending with several key injuries, as well as a flu bug. Defenseman Kris Letang (illness), who’s critical to helping Pittsburgh generate an edge in offensive zone time, might miss the game. Illness could also affect RW Phil Kessel and D Trevor Daley.

The Penguins are likely to continue with Marc-Andre Fleury as their goaltender, since No. 1 goalie Matt Murray (lower body injury) has resumed practicing but isn’t expected to be ready to play on Wednesday.

Pittsburgh has gone in peaks and valleys this season. Curiously enough, the Penguins have been outscored 43-12 when they lose in regulation time, with five of those losses coming by at least four goals. If Crosby and his teammates fall into an early hole, they’re not likely to come back.

The Capitals are 26-9-5 on the season and are currently on a six-game win streak. Ovechkin is coming off a one-goal, two-assist effort in Washington’s road victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. Washington could also be in line to have forward T.J. Oshie (upper body injury) back in the lineup.

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby is enjoying a hot streak, with four shutouts over his last 12 games. In 15 career games against Pittsburgh, Holtby has a 2.59 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

The teams are part of a three-team logjam for second place in the Metropolitan Division, behind the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The total has gone over in seven of Pittsburgh’s last 10 road games against their division. The total has gone over in only three of Washington’s last 10 home games against their division.

Bruins favored at Detroit on Wednesday, while Kings host Sharks

161029-tuukka-rask
Getty Images
Leave a comment

While the Boston Bruins are coming off an ugly defeat, they take a strong recent track record against the Detroit Red Wings into their matchup on Wednesday.

All-Star goalie Tuukka Rask and the Bruins are -140 road betting favorites against the +110 underdog Red Wings with a 5.5-goal total for their betting matchup at Joe Louis Arena, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

In the other major Wednesday night rivalry matchup, the San Jose Sharks travel down the California coast to face their Pacific Division rival, the Los Angeles Kings.

The Bruins, who are 23-19-5, are in action for the first time since Monday when they were shut out 4-0 by the  New York Islanders, who fired coach Jack Capuano the following day. Boston is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games against the Red Wings, though, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. With standout forwards such as Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, the Bruins are among the NHL leaders in generating scoring chances.

The Red Wings, who are 19-19-6, are seeking their first three-game winning streak of the season and have had a three-day break since defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins last Saturday. Detroit has been counting on rookie goalie Jared Coreau and is 2-6 SU in home games against its division this season.

The total has gone under seven of the last 10 times that Boston has been a road favorite with a -125 to -500 moneyline, with two pushes. The total has also gone under in seven of the Bruins’ last 10 road games against fellow Atlantic Division teams.

The Sharks, 26-16-2 SU, will have to make a lineup adjustment now that RW Jonas Donskoi is on injured reserve and RW Barclay Goodrow has been called up from the minors as a reinforcement. Counting the playoffs, the Sharks are 7-3 SU in their last 10 road games against the Kings.

Sharks goalie Martin Jones has a 1.76 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in two starts against the Kings this season.

The Kings, 22-18-4 SU, are desperate for a home win since they are about to embark on a long road swing. Los Angeles has had an uneven output at the Staples Center, where it is 5-5 SU in its last 10 games against teams from its division. Captain Anze Kopitar (illness) is expected to return, but the Kings are still without key goal scorer Tyler Toffoli (knee).

The total has gone under only once in the Sharks’ last 10 road games, with six pushes.

Canadian women’s hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser retires

170113-wickenheiser
Getty Images
Leave a comment

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Hayley Wickenheiser has retired from hockey after 23 years on Canada’s women’s team.

The 38-year-old Wickenheiser, from Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, announced her retirement Friday.

Wickenheiser is Canada’s career leader with 168 goals and 211 assists in 276 games. She won four Olympic gold medals and seven world titles and was the most valuable player of the Olympic women’s hockey tournaments in 2002 and 2006.

She was the first woman to score a goal in men’s professional hockey when she played in Europe.