Deep inside, Washington Capitals fans know that events like the one that transpired on Thursday are bound to happen. After losing the series lead with a 4-2 loss at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Caps now need to get their mojo back. Will they reclaim the series advantage this Saturday? Or will the Lightning make it three in a row?
Betting Preview for the Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Eastern Conference Finals Game 5 on May 19, 2018
When: Amalie Arena
When: Saturday, May 19, 7:15 PM EST
TV Broadcast: NBCS, TVA
Betting on the Washington Capitals (+1.5)
For some reason the Caps failed to get a win in Games 3 and 4 at home despite clearly dominating the possession battle. In Game 3, the Caps outshot Tampa Bay 38-23. In Game 4, they did it again with a 38-20 lead in shots taken. Most of the blame could be pinned to the team’s suddenly anemic power play that has gone 0-for-7 in the last two games. On Thursday, the Caps went 0-for-4 on PP chances. Maybe a trip back to Tampa could spark the Caps again. After all, that’s where they won the first two games of the series. The Caps still lead the playoffs with 3.56 goals per game and third in power play percentage with 28.6. Evgeny Kuznetsov tied Alexander Ovechkin atop the team’s goal leadership this postseason with a goal on Thursday, his 10th of the playoffs.
The Capitals are 9-1 in their last 10 road games.
Betting on the Tampa Bay Lightning (-1.5)
Where would the Bolts be without goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who was astounding once again in front of the net on Thursday for Tampa Bay. In Game 4, Vasilevskiy stopped 36 of 38 shots faced and played a big role in snuffing Washington’s power play attacks. Back in Game 3, Vasilevskiy turned away 34 of 36 shots in a win. So far in the playoffs, Vasilevskiy is 10-4 with a 2.63 GAA and a .918 SV%. The Lightning’s offense has also gotten it together at the same time Vasilevskiy is figuring out the Caps in between the pipes. Steven Stamkos, who scored a goal in Game 4, Nikita Kucherov, and Brayden Point have seven goals each in the postseason. The Lightning finished the regular season tops in scoring with 3.5 goals per game. In the playoffs, they are fourth with 3.36 per contest. The power play has been big for them in the series, as they have scored six goals in the man advantage in the past four outings.
Tampa Bay is 7-3 in its last 10 home games.
Washington wins, 3-2.
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