The Washington Capitals stunned the Presidents' Trophy-winning Florida Panthers in Game 1 in a 4-2 victory over the home side.
Not only did Washington get the win, but it completely outplayed Florida for the full 60 minutes. Will the Cats be able to bounce back and tie up the series or will the Caps steal two on the road?
Find out in our free NHL betting picks and predictions for Capitals vs. Panthers on Thursday, May 5.
Capitals vs Panthers odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Panthers opened up as -250 home favorites and the total opened at 6.5 with neither having any movement since.
Capitals vs Panthers predictions
Predictions made on 5/5/2022 at 9:20 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Capitals vs Panthers game info
• Location: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, FL
• Date: Thursday, May 5, 2022
• Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: TBS
Capitals vs Panthers series odds (WAS leads 1-0)
Capitals vs Panthers betting preview
Capitals: John Carlson D (Probable), Tom Wilson F (Questionable), Carl Hagelin F (Out), Joe Snively F (Out).
Panthers: Markus Nituvaara D (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Capitals vs Panthers head-to-head record in the series
Capitals: 1-0 SU 4 goals for.
Panthers: 0-1 SU, 2 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Capitals are 1-4 SU in their last five games in Florida. Find more NHL betting trends for Capitals vs. Panthers.
Capitals vs Panthers picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Washington Capitals played an excellent game against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night and they showed this is going to be a much tougher series for Florida than people may have predicted. That being said, the Panthers are definitely the better team in this series and we should expect to see a strong bounce-back performance from them tonight.
The Cats were the best offensive team in the regular season, averaging 4.11 goals per game and generating the most chances per game (13.36), but on Tuesday night they were limited to two goals on just eight high-danger chances.
A key to the game for the Panthers will be their power play, as they had the fifth-best man-advantage unit in the regular season, but they went 0-for-4 in Game 1. They will need to convert on their opportunities tonight, which they should be able to do considering all the success they've had up until this point.
Sergei Bobrovsky actually had a pretty solid game despite getting the loss. He made 34 saves with a .919 SV%, and he should be able to perform at a high level once again tonight.
I think the Panthers are the better team overall and when you look at their home record this season finishing at 34-8-0, it's hard to imagine them losing two in a row on home ice in Round 1. I think the Cats knot up the series tonight.
Prediction: Panthers moneyline (-250 at DraftKings)
Game 1 was not a very defensively focused contest, as the Capitals had 38 shots on goal as opposed to the Panthers' 32. Florida especially was not very strong in its own end, allowing the Caps to have 13 high-danger chances.
I expect both teams to tighten it up defensively, specifically the Panthers who were the 12th-best defensive team during the regular season, only allowing 2.95 goals against per game.
The Capitals may have come away with a win in Game 1, but they did have some of their better guys get banged up in the process. Tom Wilson is questionable coming into this game with a lower-body injury and John Carlson is probable, but he has somewhat of an upper-body injury.
Washington played a strong defensive game on Tuesday and did a great job at containing the Panthers' explosive offense while limiting their chances, and will try to do the exact same thing tonight.
Florida has most definitely watched the film from Game 1 and will make a ton of defensive adjustments to limit Washington’s offensive attack.
I think this game will stay Under 6.5.
Prediction: Under 6.5 (+110 at DraftKings)
The Florida Panthers are way too strong of a hockey team to go down 2-0 in this series, especially with both games being on home ice where they were so dominant in the regular season.
They have a ton of offensive talent and it will be difficult for the Capitals to shut them down in two straight.
Like I said earlier, the Cats were arguably the best home-ice team throughout the year. They outscored visiting opponents by a goal differential of 72 and had three home losses in the last two months of the regular season.
Not only do I think they recover in Game 2, but I also believe they will dominate the full 60 minutes and get the job done in regulation. Don't expect any free hockey coming your way tonight.
Pick: Panthers 3-way moneyline (-150 at DraftKings)
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