A pivotal Game 5 will take place at FLA Live Arena on Wednesday night as the Washington Capitals visit the Florida Panthers.
The teams have split the first four games of this Round 1 clash, with the Caps taking Games 1 and 3 in runaway fashion, and the Panthers grinding out victories in Games 2 and 4, the latter of which went to overtime.
Which club will come away with a 3-2 series lead when all is set and done in Game 5? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Capitals vs Panthers on Wednesday, May 11.
Capitals vs Panthers odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Panthers opened as prohibitive consensus favorites at -213 and have climbed steadily to the -225 range at the majority of sportsbooks. The opening total was listed at 6.5 and has yet to budge from that number, albeit the vig on the Over has jumped to as high as -130 at some sites.
Capitals vs Panthers predictions
Predictions made on 5/11/2022 at 12:00 p.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: Wednesday, May 11, 2022
• Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN2
Capitals vs Panthers series odds
Capitals vs Panthers betting preview
Capitals: Tom Wilson (Questionable).
Panthers: No injuries to report.
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Capitals vs Panthers head-to-head record
Capitals: 5-4-1, 37 goals for.
Panthers: 5-3-2, 36 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 31-14-7 in the Capitals’ last 52 playoff games as an underdog. 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.
It took a herculean effort from the Panthers’ defense for them to win Game 4, the kind that is difficult to replicate. With the regular-season Florida offense seemingly missing, the Capitals are the better bet in Game 5.
Washington was held to a mere 16 shots in Game 4, yet the Panthers still needed overtime to dispatch the lowest seed in the East. The Caps have had as many as 38 shots on goal in this series (Game 1) and were a respectable 14th in shots on goal per game in the regular season (31.4). Aaron Ekblad and company have their work cut out for them if they want to hold Alex Ovechkin’s offense below 20 shots again.
Florida netminder Sergei Bobrovsky’s postseason save percentage actually went down to .900 after the Game 4 victory. His Game 2 performance (one goal allowed on 27 shots) aside, Bobrovsky has looked mediocre between the pipes in this series. That’s not very surprising considering his regular-season splits against the Caps, as he went 1-1-0 against them with a 3.36 GAA and a .887 save percentage.
Washington has enjoyed a huge edge in power-play production through four games. The Caps have notched at least one goal on the man-advantage in each of their Round 1 games. The Panthers, on the other hand, have begun the series 0-for-13 on their power-play opportunities.
Florida’s failure to get its power play going is just part of the reason it’s struggling to score after being one of the NHL’s top offenses in the regular season.
Carter Verhaeghe has been bailing his team out, gathering five points in four games, including the overtime game-winner on Monday night. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov have underachieved, combining for only two goals and four assists through four playoff contests. Anthony Duclair has been practically invisible, with no goals and only one on-target shot to his credit.
Florida doesn’t deserve to be this big a favorite based on the way it has played so far in this series. The veteran Capitals are the better choice on the moneyline for Game 5.
Prediction: Capitals moneyline (+190 at Caesars)
Over bettors are off to a lousy start in this series at 1-3, and there’s little reason to think the skid will end in Game 5.
Bettors have been waiting for Florida’s offense to show up in this series, and so far, it hasn’t happened. The Panthers have mustered only 11 goals through four games against the combination of Vitek Vanacek and Ilya Samsonov, hardly an intimidating pair in the regular season.
Samsonov has looked like an All-Star in net, stopping 47 of the first 48 shots he saw in this series before allowing three goals on 32 shots in Game 4. He could be in for another big night against Florida’s floundering forwards.
The Capitals — 10th in the regular season in goals per game (3.3) — haven’t been lighting the lamp with regularity in this series either. Ovechkin has been kept under control, tallying only one goal on 14 shots. T.J. Oshie has picked up the slack to some extent, gathering three goals through four games, but the rest of the offense isn’t following his lead.
Trend bettors should note that the Under is 4-1 in the Capitals’ last five road games, and the Panthers have gone below the total in six of their last seven playoff games as the betting favorite.
Prediction: Under 6.5 (+105 at PointsBet)
The Capitals already proved they could win at FLA Live Arena when they took Game 1, but it will still be difficult for them to do it again.
The Panthers were an outstanding 35-8 straight up at home in the regular season, averaging over than half a goal more than they do on the road. Fortunately for Washington, it has proven to be a good road team, going 26-15 straight-up as the visitors this year compared to 20-21 at Capital One Arena.
The moneyline odds on the Caps are tempting, but the safe play is to take the 1.5 goals on the puck line for insurance.
Pick: Capitals +1.5 (-125 at DraftKings)
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