By Jenny Masters

The Caps are in Boston to take on the Bruins in the first game of a two-game miniseries. The teams split the first two meetings with Washington’s win coming in overtime. The winner of this game will be in first place in the East Division.

According to OddsShark.com, the game opened with the Bruins as favorites at -150 and the line has gone in both directions and can be found in the -136 to -155 range depending on the sportsbook. The total opened at 6.5 and has dropped down to 6 across the board with the OVER the slight favorite at some books and EVEN odds at many others.

Caps starting goaltender Ilya Samsonov came back Sunday for his  first game since January 17, making just his third start of the season. Samsonov picked up the win over New Jersey and is the likely starter tonight now that he has returned from the league’s COVID-19 protocol.

Without their starting goalie, the Caps’ top skaters have had to carry the team, and none have been more effective than center Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom leads the team and is tied for seventh in the league with 25 points through 21 games.

Backstrom is the only player on the team at more than a point-per-game pace and is the only Capital with double-digit goals (10). But longtime captain Alex Ovechkin has been no slouch either with seven goals and 17 points in 17 games.

Boston has lost four of its last six games, including two uncharacteristic blowouts at the hands of the Islanders and Rangers in the last week. But the Bruins return home from a two-week road trip with their most recent game an impressive win over the Rangers. The Bruins dominated the shots 34-18 at even strength in that game and had more overall scoring chances (20-17) and high-danger scoring chances (9-4).

The win over the Rangers was also goaltender Tuukka Rask’s best outing in some time. Rask had not had a save percentage over .905 since February 10, before posting 20 saves on Sunday for the 4-1 win. The starter for Wednesday had not been announced as of Tuesday night.

Offensively, Bruins forward Charlie Coyle is starting to heat up. After putting up just four points in his first 15 games, Coyle now has three goals and four points in his last four games.

Betting Pick: Capitals +130

The Capitals are playing just as well as the Bruins right now, if not better, and you are getting +130 odds to bet them. We don’t feel there is a compelling reason to take the Bruins at -150 when the two teams are so tight.

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