Florida Panthers will host the Washington Capitals in Game 5 of the NHL 2021-22 playoffs on Wednesday evening. The hosts managed to level the series and get back the home-ice advantage. The away side was close to securing a massive advantage in this series, but they need to search for a win on the road to take the lead back.
Florida bounced back from a very tricky situation to get the series back home in a tie. The home side is now full of confidence, and they want to capitalize on playing in front of its crowd. On the other hand, Washington wasted the opportunity for a 3-1 lead in this series. Nevertheless, the visitors won’t surrender to a very strong opponent.
Florida Panthers – Can they grab the lead at home?
The Panthers fought for a very valuable win on Monday evening, beating the Capitals 3-2 on the road. They needed to go into overtime but managed to score in the first five minutes to seal a big victory. Florida was on the verge of a defeat, but they equalized two minutes from time. It could be a huge boost of confidence for Florida to finally capitalize on the home-ice advantage. They had double shots more than their rivals, while the Panthers also won seven faceoffs more. If they continue in the same fashion, the Panthers will get just one step away from the conference semi-finals.
Carter Verhaeghe tops the goals charts with three while being the most productive Florida player with five points. Aaron Ekblad has been the team’s best assistant with three while contributing to the Panthers’ offense with four points. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov have three pts apiece, while five other players chipped in with two points each. On the other hand, Sergei Bobrovsky has been the Panthers’ first-choice goalie in the playoffs. He allows 2.72 goals per game and has a .900 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Sergei Bobrovsky, MacKenzie Weegar, Brandon Montour, Jonathan Huberdeau, Sam Reinhart, Carter Verhaeghe
with best odds
Washington Capitals – Are they capable of winning on the road again?
The Capitals were so close to snatching a 3-1 lead in this series, but they go to Sunrise leveled with their rivals. They were minutes away from the victory but eventually lost at home after overtime. Despite keeping their defense tight, Washington didn’t do much in the offense. They scored twice from only 16 shots in Game 4, and they could have been more active in the final third. Now, the visitors hope to repeat the success from the series opener and get back the advantage before the Game 6 on their ice.
Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have contributed the most to the Capitals’ offense, producing five points each by scoring once and assisting four times. T.J. Oshie and John Carlson have four pts apiece, while Anthony Mantha has three points in the playoffs. Three other skaters managed to chip in with two points each. Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek split their time on the goal, combining for a .915 save percentage and allowing 2.75 goals per match.
Expected Line-Up: Ilya Samsonov, Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson, Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, Evgeny Kuznetsov
Expert Pick #1 – Under 6.5 @+105
Just one game in this series went over a 6.5 margin, and I think the visitors will try to go with a physical style and be focused on defense. It should be another tight game, and I don’t expect to see more than six goals in total. I’ll back the Under as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Washington Capitals to win @+190
Neither team managed to be consistent in this series, and although Florida celebrated in their latest clash, I’m leaning to the Caps at very lucrative odds. They already managed to beat the Panthers once at FLA Live Arena, and I’ll go with this pick as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Florida Panthers Under 3.5 @+120
Despite having an explosive offense, the Panthers scored more than three goals just once in this series. I expect Washington to keep them under the margin again since that is the best chance for visitors to win. Therefore, it’s going to be my third pick.