The Washington Capitals will be looking to rebound after a disastrous meltdown to the Panthers on Tuesday when they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to Capital One Arena Thursday night. Chicago has just five points through 10 road games and has been outscored 37-20 in those contests.
Can Alex Ovechkin continue to drive this offense that’s missing T.J Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom? Can the Blackhawks salvage a season that is slipping away? Find out on our free picks, predictions and NHL odds for Blackhawks vs. Capitals.
Blackhawks vs Capitals odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Washington opened as -195 on the moneyline with a total of 6 and leaning to the Over. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until puck drop and be sure to check out the full NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.
Blackhawks vs Capitals predictions
Predictions made on 12/02/2021 at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Blackhawks vs Capitals game info
• Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
• Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021
• Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
• TV: NBCSWA, NBCSCH
Blackhawks vs Capitals betting preview
Blackhawks: Calvin de Hann D (Questionable), Riley Stillman D (Out).
Capitals: Conor Sheary F (Questionable), Justin Schultz D (Out), T.J. Oshie F (Out), Nicklas Backstrom F (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Blackhawks vs Capitals head-to-head record (since 2016)
Blackhawks: 3-7 SU, 30 goals for.
Capitals: 7-3 SU, 42 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Blackhawks are 2-8 SU in their last 10 vs. the Eastern Conference. Find more NHL betting trends for Blackhawks vs. Capitals.
Blackhawks vs Capitals picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
Puck line analysis
The Chicago Blackhawks have won just two of their 10 road games to date with those only two victories coming against the Kraken and Canucks. Facing teams with a .500 record or better on the road, Chicago is 0-7 SU and has been outscored 31-12. The troubled Blackhawks have not beaten a .500 team in regulation this season.
Chicago’s 2.10 goals per game ranks 30th in the league and at even strength, its 27 goals scored ranks dead last. The Blackhawks are in the Coyotes' territory for the worst team in the West. They are last in Fenwick percentage, last in 5-on-5 goal differential and are 2 for 32 on the power play since November 1. They won’t have the ability to come back as the Panthers did vs. Washington as Chicago is 1-10 SU when giving up the first goal.
Chicago goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has played well in November with a 2.12 GAA but has struggled on the road with a 2-5 record and a 3.12 GAA. The Chicago offense has not been able to support MAF even when he is at his best. Fleury has a career 2.62 GAA versus the Caps which is slightly higher than his career GAA of 2.55.
If Washington can put up three goals, it could translate to a victory as the Blackhawks are 0-11 SU when they give up more than two goals. Washington sits fifth in the league in goals per game at 3.57 which is driven by its 5-on-5 play which has scored more goals than any other team in the league. At even-strength, this is a huge advantage for the Capitals whose league-best 5-on-5 offense faces the Blackhawks’ second-worst 5-on-5 offense.
The meltdown to the Panthers was a tough beat for Capital ML backers but this is still one of the best teams in hockey and matches up more than well versus this struggling Blackhawks team on the road.
The moneyline hasn’t moved much since opening at -195 in Washington’s favor but we’re going to take the Caps on the puck line as they are 12-2 ATS in their 14 wins and haven’t been reliant on empty-net goals as they have just five on the season.
Prediction: Capitals -1.5 (+120)
After a game that saw the Capitals lose 5-4 in regulation after entering the third period with a 4-1 lead, you can bet that coach Peter Laviolette will be preaching defense Thursday night. The Caps also took some critical penalties down the stretch on Tuesday and playing a clean game will also likely be a point of emphasis for the home team tonight.
The Blackhawks are coming off a game where they scored zero goals and finished with 2.35 xgoals. In their last eight Overs, they’ve scored more than three goals five times but asking this offense to get more than two tallies is asking a lot. Chicago has scored more than two goals in regulation just once in its last nine games and that was versus the Kraken.
At home, the Capitals allow 2.27 goals per game which is a Top 7 mark. The 25.3 shots allowed at home also ranks as the second-best mark in the league.
It’s tough to gauge who will tend the crease Thursday night for the Capitals as Ilya Samsonov was running away with the No. 1 job, but giving up four goals in the third period is not a great look. But whether it’s him or Vitek Vanecek, we’re comfortable with the Under as both goalies boast a home GAA that sits below 2.35.
If you must hit an Over, take a look at the Washington team total that is paying -120 for Over 3.5. We just don’t trust this putrid Chicago offense in a game where there will certainly be an emphasis on defense from the Capitals.
Prediction: Under 6 (-105)
The Caps have ripped off four straight wins on home ice and covered in three of them. They’ve outscored their opponents at Capital One Arena 41-25 and average 3.75 goals per game on home ice. They’re coming off a back-breaking loss to a Conference rival but Laviolette is one of the best in the business and this is one of the more experienced teams in the league and should bounce back.
This was a Washington team that we were saying was one of the best teams in hockey prior to the Florida game and if it would have closed out the Panthers, the hype train would still be chugging along.
The Chicago offense is non-existent and this Washington team will be playing angry.
Pick: Capitals 3-way ML (-130)
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