Florida Panthers will host Washington Capitals in Thursday’s NHL action in FLA Live Arena. The home side suffered the first defeat last time, and they want to bounce back. The visitors have been inconsistent lately, and they look forward to stabilizing their form.
Florida heads to this clash after two matches on the road, searching for the way back to the winning track. The hosts enjoy an excellent start to the campaign, and they are in a good position to secure the playoffs spot. On the other hand, Washington has been in a bumpy form lately, and they want to enter the winning streak. The away side also goes to this match after losing the previous one and will search for a victory.
Florida Panthers – Can they get back on the winning track?
The Panthers are not among the undefeated teams anymore, as they suffered a shootout defeat against the Bruins on the road. However, Florida is back on the home ice and wants to celebrate in the FLA Live Arena once again. The hosts are first in the Atlantic Division with an 8-0-1 record, and they have been one of the most productive teams in the NHL. Aleksander Barkov and Anthony Duclair scored in the Panthers’ losing effort against the Bruins, while Spencer Knight was pretty good between the pipes with a .929 save percentage.
However, we could see Sergei Bobrovsky being a starting goaltender against the Capitals, and he has a .944 save percentage. Jonathan Huberdeau has been leading Florida’s offense with 11 points, including team-high eight assists. Anthony Duclair has been the Panthers’ top scorer with six goals, while Aleksander Barkov contributed with ten points. Aaron Ekblad has also been one of the most dangerous players in Florida’s offense, scoring three times and logging six assists.
Expected Line-Up: Sergei Bobrovsky, MacKenzie Weegar, Radko Gudas, Mason Marchment, Aleksander Barkov, Carter Verhaeghe
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Washington Capitals – Will they stabilize the form?
The Capitals haven’t been successful in the latest game, as they suffered a 3-2 defeat against the Lightning. Although they had 33 shots in the match, only Brett Leason and Conor Sheary managed to find the back of the opposition’s net. Washington is now third in the Metropolitan Division, with a 5-1-3 record, and they want to enter the post-season. The Capitals have been solid on the road so far, celebrating two victories and losing to Tampa Bay in their latest outing.
Washington has been very good in the offense, and they are averaging 3.6 goals per contest. Alex Ovechkin leads the Caps’ offense with 15 points, including team-high nine goals, while Evgeny Kuznetsov contributed with 13 points. Kuznetsov also tops the stats with eight assists, while tom Wilson logged seven final passes. On the other hand, Vitek Vanecek has made six appearances so far and has allowed 2.40 goals per match on average. Washington’s goalie also has a .906 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Vitek Vanecek, Martin Fehervary, John Carlson, Tom Wilson, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov
Expert Pick #1 – Panthers to win (Inc. OT and Pen.) @-157
Neither team was successful in their last matches, but the Panthers have been very confident on the home ice. I believe they are capable of getting back to the winning track, although the opponent is not easy. Therefore, I’ll back Florida as my first pick here.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 6 @+110
Both sides have been pretty productive so far in the season, with the Panthers averaging over four goals per match and the Capitals producing at more than three. The Over offers a pretty good value here, and I’m going to take it as my second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Panthers & Over 6 @+205
For the third pick, I’ll combine the first two tips to generate more generous odds. If Florida wins in a match with at least six goals, we could count on excellent profits. I’ll take the Panthers and the Over on a smaller stake.