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Capitals Visit Soaring Jets On Friday

Posted by Carter Brown on 3/20/2013 7:28:37 PM

The Winnipeg Jets have been much better on the road this online sports betting season, and it has translated to them competing for first place in the Southeast division. Now the challenge is playing better at home. Winnipeg will look to improve on its mediocre home record when it hosts the Washington Capitals in the second of back-to-back games in consecutive nights on Friday, with an important two points on the line against its Southeast rivals. The Jets went just 7-6 in their first 13 games at the MTS Centre before hosting Washington on Thursday night, and need to take advantage of home ice and keep the Capitals from heating up on the road.

Washington Capitals @ Winnipeg Jets
Friday March 22, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
NHL Sports Betting Line: Winnipeg – 130

Washington has been absolutely awful away from home through the first half of the season, winning just four times in its first 14 tries. The Capitals opened the season with a home loss to Winnipeg but scored a 3-0 road win in their second meeting, setting the stage for this awkward portion of the schedule in the middle of a four-game trip.

NHL Betting Preview: Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Mike Ribeiro were expected to lead a Washington offense that many felt would be among the best in the NHL. Ovechkin has led the Capitals with 12 goals while Ribeiro has registered a team-leading 22 assists, but Backstrom hasn’t played to his potential in a secondary role and the offense has averaged just 2.7 goals per game. That isn’t nearly good enough for a Washington team that has struggled in its own end, with the goaltending tandem of Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth surrendering an average of three goals per game. Much of the Capitals’ offensive production has come from the third-ranked powerplay in the NHL, but Washington’s penalty-kill ranks just 29th in the league, and has added to its struggles.

NHL Betting Preview: Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg needs to find a way to make the Capitals pay in their own end, and it will be on captain Andrew Ladd to provide the offensive spark the team has come to rely on from him this online sports betting season. Ladd leads the Jets in both goals and assists with 14 and 16 respectively, and will need to maintain his production while the rest of the team bolsters their numbers around him. Special teams will be among the keys as Winnipeg looks to improve its 23rd-ranked powerplay, and they could also stand to be better on the penalty-kill, where they are operating at just 78.3-percent to rank 26th in the NHL.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

With the toughest travel in the league, the Jets were expected to struggle on the road and thrive at home. The opposite has been true to this point in the season, but if they want to compete for a Southeast division title it will require better results in Winnipeg. The Capitals haven’t been very good on the road so far this year, and could be ripe for the picking in their second game in as many nights in the midst of a four-game trip.

NHL Betting Pick: Winnipeg Jets

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