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Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Washington Capitals Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference First Round Game One – April 13, 2017

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Washington Capitals Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference First Round Game One – April 13, 2017

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Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Washington Capitals Game 1 Preview

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

When: Thursday, April 13, 2017, 7:00 PM ET

Line: Toronto Maple Leafs (+190) at Washington Capitals (-230); total: 5.5view all NHL lines

TV Broadcast: USA


NHL News and Predictions


Betting on the Toronto Maple Leafs

Moneyline: +190

There’s still plenty of reasons to believe that the Toronto Maple Leafs can pull off the Game 1 upset over the Capitals in D.C. this Thursday.

Toronto’s one of the best teams at capitalizing on their opponents miscues, ranking second in the league this regular season with a power-play conversion rate of 23.8 percent. The team also has weapons that can match that of Washington’s, with five forwards tallying 20 or more goals apiece.

Of course, a lot hinges on the continued success of leading Calder Trophy candidate Auston Matthews, who led his team is points (69) and goals scored (40) as a rookie. Matthews, by the way, became only the fourth player in NHL history to score 40 goals in a season before turning 20 years of age.

However, the Leafs’ goaltending issues may come back to haunt them this Thursday night. Frederik Andersen, who had a decent 2016-17 campaign with a .918 save percentage and 2.67 goals-against average, sat out the final regular-season contest after taking a hard collision in the penultimate game from Pittsburgh’s Tom Sestito.

While Andersen claims that he’ll be ready to start in Game 1, we’re not high on his chances in preventing the Capitals’ prolific offense, especially with him not in tip-top shape.

Betting on the Washington Capitals

Moneyline: -230

Looking to end their postseason misfortunes this season, the Washington Capitals emerged as the best team in all of hockey by winning their second-consecutive division title en route to also winning back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies with 118 points.

The Caps are as hot as can be entering the playoffs, going a sweet 11-2-1 over their last 14 regular-season games. Similar to the Leafs, the team has five forwards who’ve scored 20 or more goals in the regular season.

The major difference, however, is that the Caps have a boatload of playoff experience on their side, particularly from main man Alex Ovechkin. The three-time MVP enters the playoffs in superior form, having scored six goals and dishing out eight assists over his last 15 starts.

Washington also has reigning Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby on its side to stifle Toronto’s attack all over again. Holtby, who has a league-best 42 wins from the regular season, will look to bring his A-game to the playoffs again, having a solid career save percentage of .937 in 46 postseason starts.

If the Caps jump the Leafs early in Game 1, we might as well book it as a victory for the home team. They’ve gone an impressive 46-7-5 during the regular season whenever they score the first goal in a game.

Writer’s Prediction

The Capitals (-230) dominate the opening contest, 4-1.

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Mark
Written by Mark

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