Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference squared off on Friday Night. The Washington Capitals (10-2-3) and their highly-productive power play defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 6-1, to become the first team in the NHL to win 10 games.
With 23 points, the Caps and their deadly power play lead the NHL through the first 15 games of the season. The Caps, sitting first place in the Metropolitan Division, offer good value at 16/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup.
While the Washington Nationals are the toast of DC right now after winning the World Series, the Caps’ strong start flew under the radar.
Conversely, the Buffalo Sabres hot start has been the talk of the league since the NHL season began a couple weeks earlier. The Sabres (9-3-2) won eight of their first 10 games before they encountered their first hiccup of the season, going 1-3 in their last four games. The Sabres looked like they’d be the first team to notch 10 victories, but the Caps thwarted their bid for 10.
2020 Stanley Cup Odds:
Boston Bruins 7/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 9/1
Colorado Avalanche 9/1
Washington Capitals 16/1
Buffalo Sabres 28/1
The Sabres improved to 28/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup, but they’re still way off compared to favorites like the Boston Bruins at 7/1 odds, and the Tampa Bay Lightning at 9/1 odds, to win the Cup.
The Edmonton Oilers (9-4-1) lead the Western Conference as the only team out West with nine wins. Despite a couple of key injuries to their top line, the Colorado Avalanche (8-3-2) are tied for second place in the Central Division with 18 points. The Avs are 9/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup.
Ovechkin 11 Goals, Sick Power Play in DC
The Caps are second in the NHL, averaging 3.93 goals per game. Only Nashville scores more than the Caps. The Caps boast one of the best power play units in the league.The Caps are tied for second in the NHL with 13 power play goals.
“We’re really confident right now,” said center Jakub Vrana. “We have lots of energy. Especially when we came back from that road trip. That brings us a lot of energy.”
It’s no surprise to see captain Alex Ovechkin at the top of the NHL scoring list. He’s tied for second with 11 goals. Ovechkin scored a game-winner in overtime to knock off the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier in the week.
Defenseman John Carlson added seven goals, and leads the Caps in assists with 16. His 23 points puts him at third overall in scoring in the league.
Right winger TJ Oshie scored eight goals so far, which is second-best on the Caps. Center Nicklas Backstrom only found the back of the net twice, but he’s second on the team with 10 assists.
Goalie Braden Holtby is 6-1-3 in 11 games this season in net. He’s allowed 34 goals this season, which is fifth-worst in the NHL. However, the Caps have been scoring so much that it hasn’t mattered. Overall, Holtby has a 3.30 goals against average, and an 89.5 percent save percentage. Holtby has been aided by a deft penalty killing squad. The Caps crush penalties with an NHL fifth-best 85.7 percent kill percentage.