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The Capitals continue their road trip with a visit to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night. NHL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi provides his best bet for the game.

Washington Capitals vs. Edmonton Oilers Prediction: Expect an Offensive Explosion

With less than two weeks remaining before the trade deadline, NHL teams are making their pushes to solidify themselves as playoff teams. There are only two games scheduled for Wednesday, but one of them is a matchup between two teams on the fringe of the playoff picture. Let's dive in.

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Washington Capitals vs. Edmonton Oilers Prediction

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The Washington Capitals (31-18-9) struggled mightily in the month of February, going 4-6 and slipping into the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. Since then, they've won three straight, including impressive wins over the East-leading Hurricanes and the Pacific-leading Flames. Washington's offense is heading up—they've scored 17 goals in their last four games for an average of 4.25 goals per game.

The Oilers (30-23-4) come into this game on a three-game losing streak, a run that has left them on the outside of the playoffs in the West. They badly need a win, but will run into a tough matchup against one of the best road teams in the league (Washington is 17-7-4 away from home).

One of the primary reasons for Edmonton's struggles has been goaltending, and I expect that to be an issue against Washington. Both Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen have been below average this season, posting GSAx marks of -5.6 and -6.3, respectively. On the other side, Ilya Samsonov has also been subpar—he has allowed 7.1 more goals than expected, which ranks seventh from last in the NHL. We could see an explosion of goal scoring based on the lack of quality goaltending in the game.

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Special teams will also play a role in determining whether the game goes over or under the total. The Oilers have an elite power play, one that ranks fifth with a conversion rate of 25%. It will be facing the Capitals' 12th ranked penalty kill (81% kill rate), which is solid but unspectacular. Washington's power play has been lackluster over the course of the season, but it has heated up as of late with four goals in their last three games. The unit will look to keep building momentum against Edmonton's anemic, 26th ranked penalty kill.

The Oilers rank 10th with 3.24 goals per game, while the Capitals rank 12th with 3.19 goals per game this season. Neither team has a goaltender who inspires confidence, and both teams have a good shot at producing on the power play. 6.5 total goals is a high number to cover, but I think there's value on that side at plus money. The first time these two teams met, the Oilers won 5-3. Let's see if that type of high-scoring affair is in the cards again.

Washington Capitals vs Edmonton Oilers Line Movement

Washington Capitals vs Edmonton Oilers Pick

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Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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