Detroit Red Wings vs Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals found their offense against the defending Stanley Cup champions and hope to carry that over when they host the struggling Detroit Red Wings on Friday night (Enter Contest). The Capitals have underachieved all season offensively and scored five goals in a four-game stretch before blowing out Pittsburgh 7-1 on Wednesday, led by a five-point night from center Nicklas Backstrom.

The Capitals look to build off their season-high performance against the injury-plagued Red Wings, who are 2-6-1 since winning six straight contests. Detroit lost forward Thomas Vanek (hip) a few weeks ago and will be without speedy center Darren Helm (shoulder) about six weeks after he was injured during Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay. The Red Wings could get defenseman Niklas Kronwall (knee) back Friday, but their problems have been more on the offensive end where they have scored 18 goals over the last 10 games.

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (8-8-1)

While the absence of Vanek, Helm and Andreas Athanasiou (knee) does not help, Detroit needs more from some of its top forwards if it is to stay in the race for a playoff spot. Tomas Tatar, who had a terrific World Cup with Team Europe, has only two goals and six points while Dylan Larkin boasts a team-high five goals but only one assist in the first 17 games. Riley Sheahan, who has played on the wing most of the season, is expected to move into Helm’s spot as the third-line center, and forward Tyler Bertuzzi was recalled from the AHL. Captain Henrik Zetterberg owns seven points in seven November contests after being limited to four in 10 contests during October.

ABOUT THE CAPITALS (10-4-2)

Backstrom had two goals and three assists against the Penguins while skating primarily with T.J. Oshie and Marcus Johansson, and rocketed to the top of the team’s scoring list with 15 points. Ovechkin, who returned to the game Wednesday after falling awkwardly at one point, is tied with Oshie for the lead in goals with eight. The Capitals have received only three goals from their blue line, with two of them coming from Karl Alzner. Matt Niskanen or John Carlson have none, but the duo have a combined 15 assists. Goalie Braden Holtby is 6-2-0 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in eight career games against the Red Wings.

Posted in NHL

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals

Captain Sidney Crosby looks to continue his offensive assault Wednesday as the Pittsburgh Penguins kick off a three-game, four-day road trip against the Metropolitan Division-rival Washington Capitals (Enter Contest). Since returning from a concussion that cost him the first six games of the season, Crosby has registered five two-point performances while collecting 10 goals and three assists in nine contests. The 29-year-old two-time Hart Trophy winner and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy recipient tops the Penguins in tallies and is tied for second in scoring. It’s two points behind leader Evgeni Malkin.

Washington hopes to break out of its offensive slump after scoring a total of five goals while going 1-2-1 over its last four games. The Capitals were held to one tally for the second straight contest on Tuesday. They squandered their lead and dropped a 2-1 decision at Columbus in overtime. Nicklas Backstrom provided the lone goal in the setback. It was just his second of the campaign. Six-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin has gone a season-high four straight games without a tally.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (10-3-2)

Derrick Pouliot is making strides toward a return to the lineup. The defenseman participated in practice Tuesday for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury on October 20. Nick Bonino was also on the ice after skipping Monday’s practice. He’s expected to be in the lineup against Washington. Malkin is riding a four-game point streak and has landed on the scoresheet in eight of his last nine contests. Goalie Matt Murray has allowed a total of only five goals while winning each of his four starts this campaign.

ABOUT THE CAPITALS (9-4-2)

One of the problems with the team’s offense has been its lack of testing the opposing goaltender. They’ve registered 21 shots during Saturday’s 5-1 loss at Carolina. It was the lowest total in 25 regular-season games dating back to March. Washington improved by just one in Tuesday’s defeat. All 20 skaters who have suited up for the Capitals this season have recorded at least one point now that defenseman Taylor Chorney notched an assist against Columbus in his second game of 2016-17.  Left wing Marcus Johansson, who shares the team lead of seven goals with Ovechkin, has recorded just one in his last six games.

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks

Another edition of our Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks is upon us.

Two of the 7 pm ET starts feature heavy favorites versus bottom feeders, and at this time of the year we like those matchups, so we’re going to shine the spotlight on them exclusively. The Capitals and Flyers have a ton of pressure on them at the moment, while their opponents only have pride. Of course the added pressure can make some teams crumble, but these teams are legitimately strong and need big games after facing some adversity recently.

Onto our daily fantasy hockey picks…

If there ever were a sure-thing, Braden Holtby would be it tonight. But if you want to save a little dough, Steve Mason and his Flyers are in a similar situation (vs WPG).

Holtby and the Capitals are home to the Columbus Blue Jackets, winners of just 3 of their last 10 games and not exactly lined with offensive playmakers.

Speaking of playmakers, Nicklas Backstrom should be a target. The Capitals scorers have been cool of late, but that should all change versus the 29th ranked team in the goals against category.

Backstrom is at a low $5000, and while Evgeny Kuznetsov has been the better player all season, Backstrom is back with his old pal Ovechkin and centering the number one powerplay unit.

Claude Giroux will return tonight after being KO’d by a viscous check last game, and Wayne Simmonds is always a factor. Rookie Shayne Gostisbehere quickly made a name for himself with his clutch goals, so expect a big game from the big-game performer.

As stated above, Steve Mason draws a very favorable start against the Jets.

 

Posted in NHL

Detroit Red Wings versus Washington Capitals Tuesday Night Hockey Fantasy Picks 12-8-2015

 

Two NHL teams that are currently playing their best hockey will face off. The Detroit Red Wings will be down in Washington to face the Capitals. It will be their third confrontation of the season. Each club took away one game, which leaves them to conclude the series in a rubber match. DFS draft managers can tune to NBCSN on Tuesday December 8th at 7:30PM Eastern Time to track the results of their fantasy roster picks.

 

The Capitals have been rock solid in the past two to three weeks. They have won 6 out of their last 7 matchups. This sudden success has brought them in 2nd place of the metropolitan division, with a single point back from the 1st place New York Rangers. Ovechkin and the caps can finally count on a good combination of offensive firepower and defensive coverage. Washington is able to count on one of the best powerplay (25.6%) unit in the league, with Carlson, Kuznetsov and Backstrom leading the charge. Goalie, Braden Holtby, is proving to be one, if not the best backstop in the league, this season.

The Red Wings are on a 3 game winning streak. They are sitting in the 2nd spot of the Atlantic division. They can count on a new generation of players to make their mark in the team, like Larkin and Tatar, and veterans to bring the experience, like Datsyuk and Zetterberg. This meddling of old and new is why Detroit is so successful every year.

 

 

Washington Capitals Value Picks:

 

Nicklas Backstrom – Center

Backstrom is still creating sparks with long-time linemate Alex Ovechkin. One of the best playmaker in the league, the swede leads all of the Caps forwards in powerplay points with 8 assists and 2 goals.

 

John Carlson – Defender

Even though that Washington lost defenseman Mike Green to Detroit in the off season, they don’t seem to miss him too much. John Carlson has shown he can play as well offensively than his former teammate. The American has now 19 points, with 10 of those coming from the powerplay. He is the most used defenseman with 24:23 minutes of playtime.

 

Braden Holtby – Goaltender

One of the biggest surprise in the NHL this year is seeing the name of Braden Holtby atop the goal against (1.95%) and wins (16) statistics leaders. He has been so impressive this season, you can see him on highlights reel week in and week out.

 

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Center

Move along Ovechkin. We could see a new Capital scoring leader at the end of the season for the first time since the year before Alexander`s rookie season. Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the team with 26 points and a 14 plus/minus.

 

Alex Ovechkin – Left Wing

The captain is still the number one offensive option in the team. He plays 20:38 minutes per game, the most among the Caps forward, and has a league leading 124 shots on goal. The Russian sniper is also 2nd in the team, with a plus 13 and 1st with 12 goals.

 

Detroit Red Wings Value Picks

 

Justin Abdelkader – Left Wing

Abdelkader has 5 points, which include 4 goals, in 3 game during the month of December. He is a solid fantasy pick who can rack up points in bunches.

 

Dylan Larkin – Center

The rookie is none short of impressive this year for the Red Wings. He leads the team in goals, with 11, and is tied with Zetterberg and Tatar in points, with 21. The young American is an early candidate for the Calder trophy, given at the end of the year to the NHL best rookie.

 

Gustav Nyquist – Center

Swedish born Gustav Nyquist was last year’s offensive revelation for the Detroit Red Wing. He scored a team leading 14 power play goal in the 2014/15 campaign. The centerman is back at it this year with 4 PPG, tied for the team lead.

 

Tomas Tatar – Left Wing

Tatar is co-leading the team in points with 21, alongside Captain Henrik Zetterberg and Rookie Dylan Larkin. He’s bound for another great season in the NHL

 

 

NHL Tuesday Night Hockey Real Money Fantasy League Picks

 

C: Dylan Larkin (Red Wings)

LW: Tomas Tatar (Red Wings)

LW: Justin Abdelkader (Red Wings)

D: John Carlson (Capitals)

G: Braden Holtby (Capitals)

Posted in NHL