Washington Capitals will host the Florida Panthers in Game 6 of the NHL playoffs. The home side needs a victory to stay competitive in the post-season and go to Florida for a decider. The visitors tied two wins, and they have the first chance to end this tie.
Washington is in the inferior position for the first time in this series. It will be interesting to see how the hosts will respond to that challenge. Nevertheless, they are an experienced team that won’t give up on their post-season campaign that easily. On the other hand, Florida has found the momentum, and they want to pick up where they left off. Another success would see them securing the conference semi-finals ticket.
Washington Capitals – Can they extend the series?
The Caps missed an excellent chance to go 3-1 ahead in this series after losing Game 4 after overtime at home. Nevertheless, they opened the next game on Wednesday evening with a 3-0 lead, and Florida had a tough challenge in getting back into the match. However, everything started to go wrong for Washington after the mid-second period. Their rivals managed to equalize by the end of that third, while the Capitals conceded two more goals in the final period. Washington had five shots less than their rivals in Game 5, while they also won three faceoffs less. The Caps need to recover from this tough defeat to get things evened.
Alex Ovechkin has been the team’s best assistant in the post-season with five, while T.J. Oshie tops Washington’s scoring charts with five goals. These two players have contributed to the Caps’ offense with six points each. Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson have five pts apiece, while Evgeny Kuznetsov has produced four. A couple of skaters managed to chip in with three points each. On the other hand, Ilya Samsonov has made four appearances in the playoffs, having a .923 save percentage and allowing 2.68 games per contest.
Expected Line-Up: Ilya Samsonov, Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson, Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, Evgeny Kuznetsov
with best odds
Florida Panthers – Will they book the third straight win?
They were on the verge of losing the last two games, but the Panthers booked two vital wins. The latest one on Wednesday evening was spectacular since Florida managed to bounce back after trailing 3-0 in the second period. It could be a massive boost of confidence ahead of this match in which the Panthers play at Capital One Arena. Florida was better in the offense in the previous game, and the Cats want to continue in the same fashion.
Carter Verhaeghe has been the most dominant player in the Panthers’ offense, with ten points in total. He tops the goals and assists charts with five apiece. Aleksander Barkov has produced five points, while Claude Giroux and Aaron Ekblad have four each. Jonathan Huberdeau, Sam Reinhart, and Sam Bennett have contributed to Florida’s offense with three pts each. Regarding the goaltending, Sergei Bobrovsky has booked all five apps, conceding 2.78 goals per match and having a .902 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Sergei Bobrovsky, MacKenzie Weegar, Brandon Montour, Jonathan Huberdeau, Sam Reinhart, Carter Verhaeghe
Expert Pick #1 – Florida Panthers to Win @-160
Although one should never write off the Capitals, especially with Ovechkin on the ice, I think their post-season campaign will end here. They wasted two great opportunities to grab the lead in this series, at least. Florida could punish them for missed chances and celebrate a road win, which will be my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 6.5 @-135
Their encounters in this series have been pretty efficient, with just one staying below a 6 margin. Washington should go offensively in this one, while Florida could also continue being productive. Give me the Over as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Florida to win & Both Teams Over 1.5 @+170
Although this is a riskier pick than the two above, I’ll take it at the plus money odds. Both teams produced at least two goals per game on the previous two occasions, and I expect them to continue in the same fashion. In addition, if Florida wins, we can count on nice profits.