Washington Capitals (57-28-9) at Tampa Bay Lightning (62-25-5)
|Date & Time||Friday May 11, 2018, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -235 / Washington Capitals +175 --- Over/Under: 6
The Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lighting meet Friday for game one of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals at the Amalie Arena.
The Washington Capitals enter this series winning four of their last five games and are fresh off a six-game series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Washington Capitals are averaging 3.1 goals per game and are scoring on 22.5 percent of their power play opportunities. Alex Ovechkin leads Washington with eight goals, Nicklas Backstrom has 10 assists and Evgeny Kuznetsov has 45 shots on goal. Defensively, the Washington Capitals are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 80.3 percent of their opponents power plays. Braden Holtby has given up 23 goals on 311 shots faced and Philipp Grubauer has allowed eight goals on 49 shots. The Washington Capitals have allowed three or less goals in each of their last 10 games.
The Tampa Bay Lighting have won each of their last four games and are coming off a five-game series with the Boston Bruins. The Tampa Bay Lighting are averaging 3.5 goals per game and are scoring on 23.9 percent of their power play opportunities. Nikita Kucherov leads Tampa Bay with six goals, Steven Stamkos has seven assists and Brayden Point has 23 shots on goal. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Lighting are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 76.1 percent of their opponents power plays. Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up 22 goals on 301 shots faced. The Tampa Bay Lighting have allowed three or less goals in eight of their last 10 games.
The Capitals are 10-1 in their last 11 road games, 4-1 in their last 5 Conference Finals games and 20-7 in their last 27 overall. The Lightning are 38-14 in their last 52 home games, 40-19 in their last 59 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 70-32 in their last 102 overall. The Capitals are 35-17 in the last 52 meetings, the home team is 20-7 in the last 27 meetings and the over is 19-7-1 in the last 27 meetings.
We're getting crazy plus money with a Washington Capitals team that's found confidence and consistency ever since being down 0-2 in the series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ovechkin said that Washington would bounce back and win that series, and it's been on ever since for the team that always seems to come up short of expectations. Well now there's little pressure on these Caps, as most expect the Tampa Bay Lighting to win this thing. That could be a good thing for Washington this time around. Not to mention the Capitals have won seven of the last 10 meetings against the Lightning and usually get a ton of quality looks at the net. This series could be tighter than some predict, and the value is with the road team here. I'll take a shot with the heavy underdog.