The Panthers looked much more like the dominant team from the regular season in Game 2. Perhaps, the Presidents’ Trophy winners just needed to get past the early pressure they put on themselves to showcase how dangerous they can be. The Washington Capitals were outshot 36-27 by the Panthers in Game 2 and will head home with the series tied.
Below are NHL betting picks and analysis for Saturday’s Game 3.
Panthers vs. Capitals Odds, Moneyline, Over/Under
Moneyline: Panthers -190 | Capitals +155
Spread: Panthers -1.5 (+125) | Capitals +1.5 (-155)
Total: Over 6.5 (-130) | Under 6.5 (+105)
Panthers vs. Capitals Analysis
The scariest offense in the NHL got going in Game 2 after being held to two goals in Game 1. Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe each had a goal and an assist, while Aaron Ekblad, Mason Marchment, and Anton Lundell had the other three goals for the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky was solid in the net, making 26 saves.
Meanwhile, Vitek Vanecek allowed five goals on only 19 shots, so Washington turned to Ilya Samsonov in the third period. Samsonov stopped all 17 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes. Nicklas Backstrom had the lone Capitals goal, a powerplay marker in the second period. Tom Wilson missed the game with a lower-body injury he sustained in the first period of Game 1.
Against the puck line, Florida is 43-41 and 20-21 on the road, while Washington is 43-41 and 14-27 at home.
A couple of trends to consider are the under is 4-0-1 in the Panthers’ past five games when their opponent scores two or fewer in their previous game, while the under is 4-0-1 in the Capitals’ past five quarterfinal games.
The Panthers have arguably the top three most talented lines in the NHL. There have only been two playoff games for each team, so statistically, we cannot put too much consideration into their importance. However, Florida led the league during the regular season in goals per game at 4.11 (the Toronto Maple Leafs were the next best at 3.80).
Now that the Panthers have broken the seal on their offense, don’t expect them to slow down for the rest of this series.
Panthers vs. Capitals Predictions
The Picks: Panthers moneyline (-190), Under 6.5 (+105)