Capitals vs Avalanche prediction: Injuries total our pick on Tuesday

The Colorado Avalanche is on its way.

Winners of five games on the spin and now sitting in a playoff spot, the Avs are, for now, proving the bookies right.

Whether it was because they took so much action on the defending champions in the offseason or were expecting this turnaround, the bookmakers never really let the Avalanche drift in the market. Colorado is no longer the Stanley Cup favorite, but the Avs are still the No. 2 pick in virtually every sportsbook.

Colorado hosts the Washington Capitals scuffle on Tuesday night.

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Vegas Golden Knights Paul Cotter #43
Vegas Golden Knights Paul Cotter #43
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Prediction Capitals vs. Avalanche (9 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

After surging over the holidays, the Capitals have started to rev up over the past fortnight. Washington is just 6-5-2 since the break and has just two wins in its last six games. Perhaps the most disturbing trend is that Washington’s last win against a playoff team came on Dec. 27 against the Rangers. Since then, the Caps have twice beaten Columbus, Montreal, the Islanders and the Coyotes.

And most of those results have come since the Caps welcomed Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson after both top-six forwards missed the first three months of the season.

Washington’s 5-on-5 numbers aren’t cause for concern, but they also don’t suggest that this cold streak was a fluke. The Caps have a +6 5-to-5 goal differential in their last 13 games, but their projected goal differential is +2.4, and they’re giving up more high-risk scoring opportunities than they do. do not generate.

The numbers aren’t ugly, but they’re not the type of shape you want to be in when facing off against a sleeping giant who has seemingly found his form.

Colorado’s five-game winning streak has put the Avs back in the thick of playoff contention, but there’s some needed context here. While posting a +16 goal differential and allowing just six goals over a five-game streak is impressive no matter the opponent, the Avalanche haven’t faced a gauntlet in the last week. The only playoff team Colorado has seen in this streak is Seattle, and the Kraken took the Avs to a shootout before falling.

And it’s also worth noting that Colorado has been doing the job with its defense lately. Only two teams have allowed fewer high-risk scoring chances since the holiday break than the Avalanche, who also generated the fifth-fewest high-risk chances at 5-on-5 during that span.

The Avs are known for their offensive flair, but they’re winning low-event games right now. They will probably have to stick to this scenario on Tuesday as Cale Makar is doubtful to play.

Pavel Francouz #39 of the Colorado Avalanche
Pavel Francouz #39 of the Colorado Avalanche
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Betting on the NHL?

The Capitals also have their own injury issues, as Alex Ovechkin is day-to-day and John Carlson remains out.

With key game drivers struggling with injuries on both sides of this game and the Avs playing a very stiff style, there is betting value on under bets in this contest.

Capitals pick vs. Avalanche

Under 6 (-115, BetMGM)

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