Two of the hotter teams in the Eastern Conference square off Thursday night when the Washington Capitals (41-22-10) visit the Toronto Maple Leafs (47-20-6) as small road underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. The Capitals vs Maple Leafs prediction has the visitors ranked higher (fourth) in the NHL than the hosts (10th) thanks in part to a four-game winning streak and the league’s best road record.
Capitals vs Maple Leafs Odds & Analysis
Only the Florida Panthers with eight straight wins are hotter than Washington right now in the East while Toronto has gone 7-1-1 in its last nine to grab second place in the Atlantic Division. The Maple Leafs are coming off the lone regulation loss during that stretch, a shocking 5-2 defeat to the Buffalo Sabres as massive -450 home favorites on Tuesday.
That setback is a perfect example of why many bettors still cannot take Toronto’s quest for the Stanley Cup that seriously despite having arguably the most talent of any team. This is another great test for both teams, though, especially the Capitals, who have gone 22-7-5 away from home this season. They have won five of the past six road meetings in this series too, which is probably why the line is not even larger.
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Washington’s Road Warrior Mentality Should Help In Postseason
The Capitals are quickly becoming the team nobody wants to face in the playoffs, a club that has won a Stanley Cup somewhat recently (2017-18) and still has many of the same players, including star winger Alex Ovechkin.
Washington earned that Cup by winning key games on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights, so the invaluable experience is there, and the results have been very favorable this season away from home.
The Capitals have won five games in a row on the road, beating quality teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes during that stretch. They play seven of their last nine on the road, including the opener of a five-game trip here.
Toronto Needs To Avoid Letdowns To Advance Come Playoff Time
The biggest knock on the Maple Leafs is that they have not gotten out of the first round of the postseason since 2003-04. If that is going to change this year, then they must find a way to avoid losing games at home like they did vs the Sabres.
That was obviously a very bad loss and cost their backers a lot of money, so the best thing they can do about it now is bounce back with a key victory against a foe that will be in the playoffs like themselves.
Toronto’s goaltending remains a bit of a concern, with backup Erik Kallgren posting a save percentage above .885 only once in his last seven games. The Capitals vs Maple Leafs prediction likely assumes starter Jack Campbell will be in net instead.
Capitals vs Maple Leafs Pick & Insights
Capitals: Keys To Victory
Washington has scored four goals or more in its last 11 road wins while giving up three goals or less 10 times in those games. So that will be the key, tallying four and not allowing more than three, something the Capitals have only not done at home over the past month. That may seem much easier said than done, but the team’s road record speaks for itself.
Maple Leafs: Keys To Victory
Fans of Toronto are hoping the loss to Buffalo is just a blip on the radar and not something that will repeat itself over and over again down this final stretch and into the postseason. It should serve as a wake-up call, as the team had won its previous six games at home. Defense will be extremely important, as just one foe scored more than two goals during that six-game home winning streak. If you are taking the hosts with your Capitals vs Maple Leafs pick, then you must think they will surrender two or less.
Odds Shark’s Computer Capitals vs Maple Leafs Prediction: Maple Leafs -160
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Odds Shark Staff Mon, Jun 27, 1:28pm