- The Washington Times - Monday, June 12, 2017

A day after the Pittsburgh Penguins won their second consecutive Stanley Cup, Las Vegas oddsmakers are giving the Washington Capitals the second-best odds to win next season’s trophy. 

Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, according to EPSN, listed the Capitals as 10-1 favorites Monday to hoist the Stanley Cup next year. 

The Penguins are the overall favorites at 8-1 to win a third straight title, which hasn’t been done since the New York Islanders won four in a row from 1980-1983. Pittsburgh beat the Nashville Predators 2-0 Sunday to become the first team to win back-to-back titles in the salary cap era. 

The Capitals are grouped with two other teams at 10-1: the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Edmonton Oilers. After them, the Chicago Blackhawks are listed at 12-1. 

After failing to make it past the second round in the playoffs again in the playoffs, the Capitals aren’t embracing a rebuild. General manager Brian MacLellan indicated the plan is to keep the team’s core together, while expecting younger players like Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov to grow further.

MacLellan acknowledged the Capitals might take a step back in the regular season, but can still contend for a title. Apparently, Las Vegas agrees. 

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