Washington Capitals Vs. Florida Panthers (5/3/22) Betting Odds, Prediction, Line Combination, Starting Goalies

The Washington Capitals enters the playoffs as the second Wild Card, finishing the regular season at 44-26-12 with 100 points.  Washington had a goal differential of +30 against their opponents this year.  The Capitals are +3000 to win the Stanley Cup this season; they won their first and only Stanley Cup championship in 2017-18.  The Florida Panthers won the Atlantic Division this season with a record of 58-18-6 with 122 points, tops in the Eastern Conference and winners of the President’s Trophy.  They come into the playoffs with a home record of 34-7-0 during the 2021-22 season.  Florida is listed as the favorites to win the Eastern Conference at +275 and +550 to hoist the 2021-22 Stanley Cup.   

Washington Capitals Vs. Florida Panthers Betting Odds

The Capitals are 1-5 in their last six games.  Washington is 4-8 in their last 12 games against Florida.  The Capitals are 4-2 in their last six games against an opponent from the Atlantic Division.  Washington is listed at +260 to upset top seeded Florida in this first round matchup.  Florida is 14-3 in their last 17 games.  The Panthers are 11-1 in their last 12 games at home.   Florida is 16-4 in their last 20 games against an Eastern Conference foe.  The Panthers are listed at -340 to win this first round series, I like them to win this series in five games.

Washington Capitals Analysis

Washington captain Alex Ovechkin is expected to be in the lineup for the Capitals against the Panthers.  He’s been out since April 24th, Washington lost all three games he missed, being outscored 12-4.  He finished the season fourth in goals scored with 50 in 77 regular season games, he’s now in third place on the all-time goal scoring list with 780.  Center Evgeny Kuznetsov was second on the team in points with 78 (24 goals and 54 assists).  Kuznetsov was a +7 in 2021-22, scoring eight power play goals, three shorthanded goals and four game winning goals.  In 81 career playoff games, he scored 62 points (27 goals and 35 assists).  Nicklas Backstrom appeared in 47 games this season, scoring 31 points (six goals and 25 assists).  The two-time Stanley Cup winner has scored 108 points in 133 career playoff games.

John Carlson leads Washington’s defensemen in scoring with 71 points (17 goals and 54 assists).  The Stanley Cup winner has 25 points on the power play this season (seven goals and 18 assists).  He’s a +13 while leading the team in ice time per game at 23:49. Carlson has blocked 112 shots and registered 73 hits.  In 117 career playoff games he’s a -1 with 68 points.  Dmitry Orlov had 35 points during the regular season (12 goals and 23 assists).  on the season (nine goals and 18 assists).  He’s second on the club in plus/minus at +25, delivering 124 hits and blocking 94 shots this year.  Orlov had 37 takeaways while averaging 20:58 of ice per game in 2021-22. 

Head Coach, Peter Laviolette has yet to announce who’ll start the game on Wednesday night against Florida.  Ilya Samsonov was 23-12-5 with a .896 save percentage, GAA of 3.02 and three shutouts this year.  Vitek Vanecek was 20-12-6 with a GAA of 2.67 and a .908 save percentage for the Capitals in 2021-22.  Poor goaltending will certainly sink any hopes of the Capitals defeating the Panthers. 

Florida Panthers Analysis

Jonathan Huberdeau was absolutely lights out this season.  He became the first Florida Panther to score 100 points in a single season and finished the campaign second in the league in scoring with 115 points; leading the NHL in assists with 85. The third pick in the 2011 draft, was a +35, scoring 38 points on the power play and averaging 19:25 of ice time per game.  Huberdeau is +1500 to win the 2021-22 Conn Smythe Award. Aleksander Barkov finished second on the club in scoring with 88 points; leading the Panthers in goals with 39.  A threat always he scored 12 power play goals, four shorthanded goals and five game winning goals on the campaign.  The 2020-21 Selke Trophy winner was a +36 while averaging 20:18 of ice time per game.  In 16 career playoff games, he’s scored 14 points (four goals and 10 assists).  Barkov like his teammate, Huberdeau is +1500 to win the 2021-22 Conn Smythe Award.  Sam Reinhart, a +25 on the season had 82 points in 78 games (33 goals and 49 assists).  The center led Florida in power play goals with 16 and placed second on the club in game winning goals with six.  Anthony Duclair had 31 goals in 74 games this season.  The eighth year forward was a +19 with five game winning goals and nine power play goals. 

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad missed the final six weeks of the regular season after suffering a knee injury in March.  He’s expected to be in Florida’s lineup to begin the playoffs.  In 61 games, he was a +38 while averaging 24:55 of ice time per contest. A dangerous offensive force from the backend, Ekblad had 57 points (15 goals and 42 assists) in the regular season.  MacKenzie Weegar second on the team in plus/minus at +40, played in 80 games averaging 23:33 of ice time per contest.  He had 44 points but was a disruptive force in the defensive zone blocking 156 shots and delivering 179 hits in 2021-22.   

Sergei Bobrovsky made 53 starts this season for the Panthers.  In 2021-22, he had a record of 39-7-3 (tied for the league lead in wins with Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy) with a .913 save percentage and a GAA of 2.67.  The two-time Vezina Trophy winner also had three shutouts this year.  Bobrovsky must be consistent between the pipes for Florida to continue their winning ways throughout the playoffs.   The Panthers goaltender is +2500 to win the Conn Smythe Award this year.

Washington Capitals Vs. Florida Panthers Picks & Prediction

Washington is scoring 3.3 goals per game, ranking them 10th in the NHL.  On the defensive side, the Capitals are allowing three goals per game which is 12th in the league.  As an underdog, Washington is 7-8-2 this year. The Panthers are scoring 4.1 goals per game, first in the NHL.  Defensively Florida is allowing three goals per game, ranked 13th overall.  As a favorite, Florida is 35-8-1 in 2021-22.  I like the Panthers to come out and play well in the opener of their hopeful run to the Stanley Cup, I’ll take them to take a 1-0 lead in the series winning game one, 4-2: the teams combining for less than 6.5 goals. 

Washington Capitals Vs. Florida Panthers Starting Goalies & Line Combination

Scott is graduate of Hofstra University and has worked in the sports media for over 20 years as a Producer and Writer. His dream is to see the New York Jets one day hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy. He lives outside of Chicago with his wife and two children.

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