It’s Sportsbook-take-all tonight when the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals square off in Game 7 of their series, with the loser heading to the golf course.
This is the third time that the Capitals have had the chance to eliminate Montreal after failing to do so in Game 5 and Game 6. Montreal snuck past Washington 2-1 in Game 5 and rode netminder Jaroslav Halak to a 4-1 victory in Game 6.
Washington likely would have won Game 6 if not for some outstanding goaltending by Halak. The Capitals outshot the Canadiens 54-21, but Halak nearly posted a shutout with 53 big saves. In the third period alone Halak faced more shots (22) than Washington goalie Semyon Varlamov faced in the entire game (21).
While Halak was a wall in nets Mike Cammalleri provided all the offense Montreal needed with a pair of goals and an assist. Tomas Plekanec had a goal and an assist and Maxim Lapierre also scored in the win.
Washington’s lone goal came off the stick of Eric Fehr. Mike Green notched an assist, but he’s still without a goal while registering only three points in the series. The Caps’ other big guns were also silent in Game 7. Alex Ovechkin was pointless with eight shots on net, while Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin were also held off the scoresheet. Even stranger than the pointless efforts by Ovechkin and Backstrom is that Joe Corvo led Washington in shots in the loss with 10.
The Capitals’ Sportsbook continued to be useless in the Game 7 loss, going 0-for-6. In the series Washington has converted only once with the man advantage, giving them a 1-for-30 success rate. After that tepid display you wouldn’t believe that the Caps had the No. 1 Sportsbook unit during the regular season, converting at 25.2%.
Washington may have blown their chance to end the series in Game 5 and 6, but Sportsbook still think they’ll prevail in the series finale. The Capitals are a big -310 home favorite tonight. If Montreal can deliver another upset they’ll pay out as +255 underdogs.
In the only other series to go seven games in the Sportsbook round Detroit took out Phoenix with a 5-1 victory. The Habs can draw some inspiration from the fact that the Wings won Game 7 on the road, but the Caps will prefer the fact that Detroit was a -115 favorite.