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Home ice becoming non-factor between Bolts and Caps in Eastern final

Gilles Gallant's picture

After shocking the Tampa Bay Lightning by winning both games in Florida, the Washington Capitals were in a great spot to take a 3-0 stranglehold in the Eastern Conference final. Well, the Bolts shut that down with a 4-2 win in Game 3 and now will attempt to even this series at 2-2 in Game 4 tonight. The Lightning improved to 4-1 on the road in the playoffs and the road team has won each game in this series as these heavyweights try to make the Stanley Cup final.

SHARK BITES
  • The Lightning are 18-6 ATS in their last 24 games in the playoffs.
  • The Capitals are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games.
  • The Lightning are 6-15 SU in their last 21 games vs the Capitals.

Tampa was not playing around in the opening period of Game 3. The Lightning controlled the tempo by outhitting the Caps and taking an early lead with a power-play snipe by Steven Stamkos for his sixth goal of the postseason. Stammer, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point each had a goal and an assist with Tampa Bay’s special teams coming through to finish 2-for-5 on the man advantage while killing all three penalties they served. When the Lightning’s offense is clicking, they are tough to beat as they’re 6-0 SU in six games in the postseason when they notch four goals or more and 54-3 SU from the start of the season.

As for Washington, home ice has not been the advantage it is supposed to be thus far in the playoffs as the Capitals are 3-4 SU in seven games at Capital One Arena. But the Caps could get a boost if center Nicklas Backstrom returns to the lineup tonight. Backstrom has missed the last four games and participated in practice on Wednesday. The Swede could be instrumental in Washington’s attempt to bounce back as the team is 7-1 SU in its last eight games after a loss.

Goaltending may play the biggest role in how Game 4 unfolds as Andrei Vasilevskiy was back to his elite form in Game 3. He made 36 saves and sports a 2.00 goals-against average with a .947 save percentage in five road games in the playoffs. On the flip side, Caps netminder Braden Holtby made 19 saves but he allowed four goals for the first time in the postseason. Although both of these goaltenders have been stellar lately, it’s worth noting the OVER has hit in 15 of the last 23 games in this matchup with an average combined score of 6.43 goals per game.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

NHL hockey oddsmakers at Bovada had the Washington Capitals as -112 moneyline underdogs in this betting matchup. Those OVER/UNDER betting saw the line open at 6 at BetOnline.

Handicapping models based on recent betting stats and prediction formulas pick a 2.9-2.7 win for the Lightning. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Washington Capitals Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Washington Capitals bring a 59-29-9 record to the battle against the 63-27-5 Lightning. OVER/UNDER bettors have seen Washington go 53-40-4 so far and the Lightning go 55-35-5. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Washington vs Tampa Bay injuries news.

This game matches up the No. 7 (Washington) and the No. 10 (Tampa Bay) teams according to our current NHL Power Rankings.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Washington Capitals' No. 8-ranked offense (3.24 goals per game) against a Tampa Bay Lightning defense that ranks No. 11 at 2.87 goals per game allowed. The Capitals power play has clicked at a 24.07% rate while the Lightning have a 75.65% rate on the penalty kill.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Tampa Bay won its last outing, a 4-2 result against the Capitals on May 15. Bettors who backed the Lightning at +108 on the moneyline won on the day, and the total score (6) sent PUSH bettors to the payout window.

Betting Trends
  • Tampa Bay is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Tampa Bay is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
  • Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
  • Tampa Bay is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
  • Washington is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
  • Washington is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games at home
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Washington's last 9 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Tampa Bay home to Washington, Saturday, May 19

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