Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Game 3 Preview
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto
When: Monday, April 17, 2017, 7:00 PM ET
Line: Washington Capitals (-150) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (+130); total: 5.5 – view all NHL lines
TV Broadcast: NBCSN
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Betting on the Washington Capitals (-1.5)
The Capitals aren’t looking as invincible in the playoffs as they were in the regular season and they’ll be heading for their first road game of the postseason looking to gain the upper hand anew in this series.
After losing Game 2, 4-3, in a double-overtime thriller at home Saturday, the Caps are definitely feeling that the young and upstart Maple Leafs aren’t going to just bend over and hand them a ticket to the next round. Braden Holtby has been exposed a bit in this series so far, having allowed six goals in two games, but he’ll remain viewed as a big obstacle for Toronto’s attack.
Holtby has shown the ability to recover quickly from a tough playoff loss. He has made two shutouts with a 1.72 GAA and .940 SV% in his playoff career following a loss.
Alex Ovechkin has found the back of the net for the first time in these playoffs with a power play goal. Washington’s power play units have scored three goals on eight attempts on the series, imposing the team’s dominance over Toronto’s penalty kill that ranked 10th in the regular season.
Washington went 16-6-4 back in the regular season in games after a loss.
Betting on the Toronto Maple Leafs (+1.5)
The Leafs are making this series look nothing like a 1 vs. 8 seed match. The young Maple Leafs are bringing the fight to the mighty Capitals, whom Toronto will host later tonight. The Maple Leafs are 6-4 in their last 10 home games.
Toronto escaping out of Washington with the series tied means that the Leafs are doing something right. One of which is keeping the Capitals’ top line of Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and T.J. Oshie relatively silent. The trio has two goals and two assists so far, but that’s fewer than what their potential suggests.
The Leafs will have to continue trying to slow down the Caps’ top guns moving forward without defenseman Roman Polak, who’s now out for the season after suffering a leg injury in Game 2.
While the Capitals have the advantage in experience, it’s worth noting that the Leafs have outscored Washington in even-strength goals this series, 5-3. A big part to that success is the fantastic play of Frederik Andersen between the pipes for Toronto.
Andersen outplayed Holtby in Game 2, making 47 saves on 50 shots faced. He’s made at least 41 saves in each of the past two games. During the regular season, Andersen went 17-10-7 with a 2.61 GAA and .917 SV% in 35 starts at home.
Washington (-150) wins, 4-2.
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