After beating the Vancouver Canucks and losing two straight to the Seattle Kraken and Calgary Flames, the Washington Capitals complete their Western swing with a game against the Edmonton Oilers. Both teams have underperformed lofty preseason expectations through the first quarter of the season as each club looks to improve their play.
Will the Oilers take care of business on home ice, or can the Capitals pull off the upset on the road? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Capitals vs. Oilers on Monday, December 5.
Capitals vs Oilers best odds
Capitals vs Oilers picks and predictions
These teams squared off in Washington D.C. on November 7 with the Capitals grabbing a 5-4 win, a result that could occur once again on Monday night. Despite leaving Saturday’s game against the Flames with an upper-body injury, goaltender Darcy Kuemper is still projected to get the start for Washington.
Since jumping over from Colorado over the off-season, Kuemper has continued his success between the pipes. Through 20 starts this season, he boasts a .916 SV% and 2.56 GAA.
Based on his metrics, regression should not be too much of an issue for Kuemper as he ranks in the top half among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5v5. Edmonton is a team that he has dominated throughout his career, going 10-2-4 with a .926 SV% and 2.20 GAA.
If Kuemper ends up not starting, the Capitals will go with backup goaltender Charlie Lindgren between the pipes. While Lindgren would be an obvious downgrade from Kuemper, he's had his moments this season with a win over the Oilers in November and a great performance against the Lightning a week later.
Regardless of who ends up starting in net, Edmonton may struggle to score against a good penalty-killing team like Washington. The Oilers rely heavily on special teams, which is due to their lack of offensive production outside of their two superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
While the Oilers rank second in the league in power-play goals, they rank just 22nd in goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60) at 5v5. This dependence on special teams should be problematic against Washington, a team that ranks in the top half of the league in penalty minutes and eighth in penalty kill percentage.
Assuming the Capitals keep up the strong penalty kill and avoid giving Edmonton the man advantage, they should be in a great spot to pull off the upset.
My best bet: Capitals moneyline (+140 at bet365)
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Capitals vs Oilers moneyline analysis
If the Oilers do not score early and often, then they're in a world of trouble considering the state of the back end. At 5v5, Edmonton ranks just 28th in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60).
Backing up this terrible defense is goaltender Stuart Skinner, who is projected to get the start. While Skinner started the season in great form, he has cooled down recently.
Over his last four starts, the Oilers netminder possesses a troubling .868 SV% and 3.77 GAA. Skinner made his lone career start against Washington earlier this season, allowing five goals on 31 shots en route to a 5-4 loss.
Capitals vs Oilers Over/Under analysis
I don't feel strongly one way or the other in terms of the total in this game. While Edmonton is typically involved in high-scoring games, its offense could get shut down against a strong penalty-killing team like Washington.
The Oilers offense has started games slowly in Kane's absence, and live betting the Over after a low-scoring first period would not be the worst play to make. Edmonton’s defense and goaltending cannot be trusted over the span of 60 minutes, although Washington’s defense has not been that much better.
If Kuemper starts and the Caps stay out of the penalty box, then they should be able to slow down the Oilers offense. With the pace of this game able to go either direction, I would lean towards the Over but am staying away from the total.
Capitals vs Oilers betting trend to know
Kuemper has won seven of his last 11 starts against the Oilers. Find more NHL betting trends for Capitals vs Oilers.
Capitals vs Oilers game info
|Location:||Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB|
|Date:||Monday, December 5, 2022|
|Puck drop:||8:30 p.m. ET|