Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers (5/11/22) Betting Odds, Prediction, Line Combination, Starting Goalies
Coming into this series, I didn’t think Washington had a chance. The Caps had an aging roster and were facing the most dominant team in the NHL this season.
Never underestimate Alexander Ovechkin, who has now recorded an assist in every game this series and scored once in Game 3. That goal meant he’s scored a goal in every single playoff series he’s played in.
The Panthers picked up a big overtime win in Game 4, however. Florida largely outplayed Washington for the game, but it was the Capitals who led 2-1 late. But Florida tied the game late and won in overtime to tie the series 2-2.
Who has the edge in this massive Game 5?
Let’s dive into the betting odds and my prediction for Wednesday’s battle.
Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers Betting Odds
How can the Panthers be laying over -200 on the ML after almost falling down 2-1 in the series?
Sure, Florida is 34-7-0 at home this season. They can score more at home than any team I’ve seen, and they often blank teams on defense.
But the Caps stole a game in Florida earlier this series, and they were actually much better on the road than at home. The Caps posted a 25-10-6 record on the road.
We have to dive a little bit deeper here.
Washington Capitals Analysis
It’s exciting that the Caps were able to hold off Florida for so long in Game 4. But it’s equally as devastating that they blew the game in the closing minutes.
But, Puck Don’t Lie. The Panthers really dominated that game in terms of Expected Goals Scored, and Washington finished with just a 25.2% postgame win expectancy.
Image credit: Money Puck
Ovechkin disappeared for large parts of Game 4. I know he’s getting old, but he’s far too important for him to play so poorly. John Carlson was the best player on the ice according to Money Puck’s Game Score formula (.98), with a few players completely floundering. More on this later…
Ilya Samsonov has stepped up his game in the playoffs. After being somewhat mediocre during the regular season, he’s posted the fourth-best Goals Saved Above Expected mark these playoffs, with only those four goalies having posted marks over 3.0.
Florida Panthers Analysis
As mentioned, Puck Don’t Lie.
The Panthers were the much better team in Game 4. And as you can see below, almost everyone outplayed Ovechkin.
Image credit: Money Puck
Carter Verhaeghe had a great day on the ice, scoring two goals including the game-winner in overtime. After scoring just 24 goals in the regular season, it’s great for Washington that he came up clutch.
LET'S GO HOME BABYYY pic.twitter.com/CvOA9RzIuB
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) May 10, 2022
However, let’s not forget about Jonathan Huberdeau. He finished the regular season second in points with 115 – trailing only Connor McDavid – and picked up 85 assists in the process. He only has two in this series, so there’s a chance he can really break out and put this game to rest.
Sergei Bobrovsky is still one of the best goalies in the game, but he’s been outplayed this series. He’s been fine, recording a modest 0.2 Goals Saved Above Expected, but he’s capable of much more.
The upside for the Panthers is so high.
Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers Picks & Prediction
My pick: Washington Capitals ML (+190 at Caesars)
But this line is too damn high.
The sharp and smart money is with the Capitals. The line has been pushed down, and at the time of this writing, only 12% of the tickets are on the Caps while over 90% of the handle is.
Money Puc’s predictions put the Panthers’ chances of winning at around 65.8%. But this +190 implies the Panthers win closer to 68% of the time, which provides some slight underdog value to the Capitals.
The Caps can play with this team, they’ve proven it. There’s no reason why the market should be disrespecting them so much.
Keep the play small, but back the Capitals in this Game 5.