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Despite Disappointing Showing in Series Opener, Sportsbooks Tabbing Lightning as Big Faves vs Capitals in Game 2

Pregame show before the Washington Capitals play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 11, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.

Oddsmakers tabbed the Tampa Bay Lightning as series favorites over the Washington Capitals before the Eastern Conference final began, but it was the Caps who looked like the vastly superior team in a Game 1 victory in Florida. Game 2, which gets underway on Sunday, is a crucial one for the Bolts, who will be looking to split the series at one game apiece before action shifts back to the nation’s capital. After Game 1 went OVER, the trend of high-scoring affairs continued when the teams meet in Tampa Bay. The OVER is 8-2-1 in the last 11 matchups between the Caps and Lightning at Amalie Arena.

Xbet opened the Lightning as -194 home favorites with a total of six.

SHARK BITES
  • The Lightning are 8-1 in their last 9 Sunday games.
  • The OVER is 19-7-2 in the last 28 meetings between the Lightning and Capitals.
  • The Lightning are 5-0 SU in their last five after scoring two goals or less in their previous game.

Washington limited Tampa Bay to 21 shots - including 10 in the first two periods - and got a goal and an assist from captain Alex Ovechkin in the victory. The win was the Capitals’ ninth in their last 11 contest, and the squad has scored a power-play goal in 11 of its past 13 postseason games, while going 15-for-46 with the man advantage in that span.

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom didn’t play in Game 1 and was listed as day-to-day as of this writing. Star goaltender Braden Holtby leads the league with nine playoff victories, which is especially impressive since the Canadian didn’t start the opening two games in the first round vs the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Lightning won eight of their first 10 postseason contests but looked like a shell of their former selves in Game 1, and a lack of success on the penalty kill was a big reason why. Tampa Bay gave up two power-play goals in the series-opening tilt and looked more like the club that ranked 28th in the NHL on the penalty kill in the regular season.

Bolts goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed four goals in 40 minutes on Friday before getting pulled. The Russian netminder gave up only five in the Lightning’s previous three games combined.

The good news for Bolts bettors is Tampa has won five straight Game 2s in the playoffs after losing Game 1, including three times in the 2014-15 postseason.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

NHL Hockey odds makers at Bovada had the Tampa Bay Lightning as -210 moneyline favorites 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 2.7-2.6 win for the Capitals. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Washington Capitals will look to vanquish their hosts on Sunday, as they are 58-28-9 this season, while the Lightning are 62-26-5. Washington is 52-40-3 against the total, while Tampa Bay is 54-35-4 versus the number. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Tampa Bay vs Washington injuries news.

The NHL Power Rankings at Odds Shark show the No. 7-rated Washington Capitals taking on the No. 10-rated Tampa Bay Lightning in this contest.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Tampa Bay Lightning No. 1-ranked offense (3.58 goals per game) against a Washington Capitals defense that ranks No. 12 at 2.87 goals per game allowed. The Lightning powerplay has clicked at a 24.37% rate while the Capitals have a 80% rate on the penalty kill.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Washington won its last outing, a 4-2 result against the Lightning on May 11. Bettors who backed the Capitals at +170 on the moneyline won on the day, and the total score (6) sent PUSH bettors to the payout window.

Betting Trends
  • Washington is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Washington is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
  • Washington is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games on the road
  • Washington is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games on the road
  • Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Tampa Bay is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
  • Tampa Bay is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games at home
  • Tampa Bay is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Washington home to Tampa Bay, Tuesday, May 15th

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