Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5 Pick - Odds and Game Predictions
The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals resume their best-of-seven showdown in the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night at Amalie Arena with the series tied at two games apiece. This Game 5 tilt is slated to get underway at 7:15 p.m. (ET) on NBC.
Washington at Tampa Bay Game Overview
Washington jumped out to a 2-0 series lead with a pair of road wins against the Lightning by a combined score of 10-4. However, a couple of 4-2 losses on its home ice has turned this matchup into a best of three affair. The good news for the Capitals is that they have played some of their best hockey on the road this postseason with a 7-1 record in eight previous road games. They closed as underdogs in seven of those eight games with the total staying UNDER or ending as a PUSH in five of the eight contests.
To regain the edge in this series, Washington is going to have to find that offensive firepower it had in the first two games. In Tuesday's 4-2 loss as -119 home favorites, they were down 3-0 early in the second period, and they could never close the gap. Thursday's 4-2 loss as -128 favorites at home started on a good note with Dmitry Orlov's first-period goal, but it was all Tampa Bay in the third period with two unanswered goals. Alex Ovechkin posted two goals and two assists in his first two games of this series, but he has just one assist in his last two outings. Braden Holtby will need to tighten things up between the pipes after allowing seven goals on 42 shots in his previous two games.
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Tampa Bay was the top team in the East this season with 113 total points and, after a very shaky start to this series, it appears to be back on track for a run to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Lightning needed just five games to get past New Jersey in the opening round and Boston in the conference semifinals with a 5-1 record on their home ice during this 10-game span. Through the first four games on this series, the total has ended as a PUSH in three of the games with the total line set at six. It went OVER in Tampa Bay’s 6-2 loss in Game 2 as a -189 home favorite.
After scoring just four goals in the first two games of this series, the highest scoring team in the NHL this regular season stepped things up to erase that early deficit. The trio of right winger Nikita Kucherov and centers' Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point have each scored seven goals with nine assists through 14 playoff games. Stamkos has scored at least one goal in each of the first four games against Washington, and the other two sharpshooters have combined for four goals and four assists in this series. Credit the play of Andrei Vasilevskiy in goal the past two games after getting shelled for ten goals in the first two meetings against the Capitals.
Get more details: Washington at Tampa Bay NHL Match-Up
Washington at Tampa Bay Betting Trends
- The Capitals have gone 14-2 in their last 16 road games and the total has gone OVER in their previous four games played on Saturday.
- The Lightning are 36-15 in their last 51 games played on their home ice, and the total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in seven of their last nine home games.
- Head-to-head in this matchup, the road team has won the last five meetings, and the total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in 14 of the previous 16 meetings in Tampa Bay.
Search for the best odds: Live NHL Hockey Lines
Washington at Tampa Bay Prediction 05/19/2018
The early rounds of this heavyweight clash are in the books with each NHL power flexing their muscles on the road. I would give the edge moving forward to Tampa Bay as the better overall team. Plus, the demons of all those past failures in the postseason could start to haunt Washington after blowing a golden opportunity to take a commanding lead in this series. I went with Tampa Bay in the last two games, and I am taking the Lightning on Saturday to get back to winning games on their home ice.