The Washington Capitals travel to meet the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Thursday night, with the puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
The Capitals were dumped 2-1 in a shootout against the Islanders at home on Wednesday, and now they faced the quick turnaround down to the Suncoast. The Lightning halted a four-game losing streak in a big way, blanking the Hurricanes by a 4-0 count in Raleigh on Tuesday.
This is the third and final regular-season meeting between these teams. The Capitals won 5-1 in the first meeting on November 11, while the Lightning returned the favor 6-3 in the second end of the home-and-home in Tampa on November 13.
Will the Lightning carry over the momentum from Tuesday’s shutout, or will the Caps get a much-needed win to stay in the playoff chase? I break it all down in my NHL betting picks for Capitals vs. Lightning below.
Capitals vs Lightning best odds
Capitals vs Lightning picks and predictions
The Washington Capitals are still mathematically alive for a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, but time is starting to run out. Washington has 77 points through 75 games, sitting five points out of the final spot with just seven regular-season games to go.
Washington has managed a 3-5-3 record this month, picking up just nine out of a possible 22 points available, so if it misses the postseason, it will look back at March as a huge reason why.
As far as the Tampa Bay Lightning are concerned, it's a very good possibility that they'll face the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs again, it's just a matter of who will have home-ice advantage.
The Lightning are six points back of the Maple Leafs with seven games remaining, and the Leafs have a game in hand, so it appears Toronto will get home ice barring a major collapse down the stretch.
Andrei Vasilevskiy is projected to start for the Lightning, and he's coming off his third shutout of the season in Carolina. He's 18-7-0 with a 2.66 GAA and .915 SV% and a shutout in 29 starts on home ice this season.
Darcy Kuemper is expected to get the start for the Caps. He is just 11-14-2 with a 2.84 GAA and .913 SV% in 28 starts away from home. He coughed up four goals on just nine shots in just over 16 minutes in Tampa on November 13 and was pulled.
The home team has won each of the past four meetings in this series, and the favorite is also 5-2 in the past seven meetings. Look for the Lightning to carry over the momentum from their shutout in Raleigh last time out. There's not much value on the moneyline, so I'm looking to the puck line instead.
My best bet: Lightning -1.5 (+135 at Caesars)
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Capitals vs Lightning moneyline analysis
The Capitals have managed to win just twice in the past seven games against the Atlantic Division while going just 1-4 in the past five games against Eastern Conference foes.
In addition, the Caps are 2-8 in their past 10 games when playing on no rest and just 1-5 in their past six games overall.
For the Lightning, they’re just 1-4 in the past five games overall, but they’ll be glad to be back on home ice. Tampa Bay is 39-16 in the past 55 games at home.
In addition, Tampa Bay has posted a 42-18 mark in the past 60 games when working on a day of rest, while going 23-8 in the past 31 home games after a road trip of seven or more days.
While Tampa Bay has won just six times in the past 12 games dating back to March 7, it's won five of those games by two or more goals. So if you like the Lightning to win this game, you should like it to cover the puck line, too.
Capitals vs Lightning Over/Under analysis
The Over has dominated for both sides lately, and it’s become a frequent occurrence when these teams meet in Central Florida.
It's 8-1 in the past nine games for the Capitals while going 4-0 in the past four road games. The Over is 4-1 in the past five games against winning teams, too.
The Over has cashed in five of the past six games against Eastern Conference teams for the Caps while going 7-3-1 in the past 11 games after playing in overtime the previous day.
For the Lightning, the Over has connected in five of the past seven games at home, while going 6-2-1 in the past nine games against Metropolitan Division teams. The Over is also 16-7-1 in the past 24 meetings in Tampa, including the 6-3 win by the Lightning back on November 13.
Look for the Over to cash, and play it with the Lightning on the puck line for a solid parlay opportunity.
Capitals vs Lightning betting trend to know
The home team is 4-0 in the past four meetings, with the favorite cashing at a 5-2 clip in the previous seven in the series. Find more NHL betting trends for Capitals vs Lightning.
Capitals vs Lightning game info
|Location:||Vivint Arena, Tampa, FL|
|Date:||Thursday, March 30, 2023|
|Puck drop:||7:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||NBCS-Washington, Bally Sports Sun|