Ice picks: Monday’s best NHL bet

May 3, 2009 |

Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals (-120, 5.5) odds provided by betED

Who would have thought that a no-name goalie would steal the show in Game 1 of a seven-game series involving the NHL’s biggest stars?

Capitals netminder Simeon Varlamov pulled off a miraculous save with the score tied 2-2 with the Penguins threatening to take the lead. Pens captain Sidney Crosby had an open net to shoot at, but Varlamov somehow got his stick back in time to stop the puck from crossing the goal line.

“You don’t like to waste an open net like that,” Crosby told reporters after the loss. “You wind up losing the game 3-2, look back and say what if…”

Pittsburgh still has many reasons to feel good about its Game 1 performance. The club outshot Washington 36-26 and took just two penalties against a skilled set of forwards.

“I’m sure if we keep getting 40 shots a game,” Pittsburgh’s Maxime Talbot said, “we’ll like the result.”

For that to happen, the Pens will have to score more with the man advantage. They went 0-for-5 on Saturday and haven’t scored a power play marker in any of their last five games.

“It’s a one-goal game, and the [Washington] special teams beat us, 1-0,” Pens defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “The story, at the end of the day, is that their power play got one, and ours didn’t.”

Expect Crosby and Company to come out on top Monday sending the series back to Pittsburgh tied 1-1.

Pick: Pittsburgh

Desktop View: Switch to Mobile View