Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Washington Capitals: 2017 Prediction Roundup

Published on April 26th, 2017

By Larry Snyder

For Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, it is the third installment of their National Hockey League playoff trilogy that binds them together. It is the 10th time overall these two proud franchises have stared at each other at center ice in their quest for a Stanley Cup.

They open their second-round playoff series Thursday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Verizon Center. Catch every line change on the NBCSports Network. These Metropolitan Division combatants split their regular season series down the middle at two contests apiece. The Red, White, and Blue won at home 7-1 and 5-2 while the Black and Gold recorded victories at 1001 Fifth Avenue, 3-2 in a shootout and 8-7 in overtime.

Which team takes this round? We check in with the experts from around the internet to see who they are picking to come out the winner.

PENS POINTS

Over at dkpittsburghsports.com (subscription service), Dejan Kovacevic and Matt Sunday both point out the slowness of the Capitals defense as the key to the Penguins taking the series in six. Matt Gajtka feels the high-end talent of Pittsburgh will overcome Washington’s and has the Pens in seven. Josh Yohe is concerned about Kris Letang’s absence due to surgery and Carl Hagelin’s health and is leaning toward the Caps in seven.

Bleacher Report’s Scott Pollack likes the rest Pittsburgh got from finishing their series with the Blue Jackets in five, and thinks it will lead them to down Washington in seven. The 21 goals in five matchups do not hurt either.

Chris Mueller at the timesonline.com projects the Black and Gold as the New England Patriots of the NHL and has Pittsburgh in six against Washington.

Matt Larkin of The Hockey News reviews the battle between a pair of centers. The Pens’ Evgeni Malkin put up 11 points in the first round while the Caps’ Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded just three points in the opening series. Larkin goes with the Penguins in six.

Dan Kingerski from pittsburghhockeynow.com thinks as long as the goaltending holds together and the forwards make good on their chances, Pittsburgh should dispatch Washington in six.

OTHER VOICES

Before ESPN’s latest round of layoffs, the quartet of Craig Custance, Rob Vollman, Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside believe the Capitals’ time has come to skate into the Eastern Conference finals. Joe McDonald is the one voice who thinks Sidney Crosby and his teammates have the desire to claim another championship.

Shane Clay of StarsandSticks.com, part of FanSided, likes the idea of the Caps sticking with what won them the President’s Trophy this season and coming out on top in seven games.

Neil Greenberg at the Washington Post trusts the addition of forwards Brett Connolly and Lars Eller to be a difference-maker this season. Plus, the loss of Kris Letang on the blue line and Matt Murray between the pipes as the factors tipping the series for the Capitals.

Next Up: The second matchup of this series is Saturday, April 29 at the Verizon Center. Every transition up ice gets underway at 8:00 p.m. on NBC.

Video From NHL World On YouTube.com – NHL Tonight Penguins vs Capitals | Apr 24, 2017…

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