Panthers vs. Capitals Odds, NHL Preview, Prediction: Back Washington To Get Job Done (November 30)
Gregg Forwerck /NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: John Carlson
- The Panthers are favored over the Capitals in Tuesday's matchup of Eastern Conference heavyweights.
- Florida is missing a key part of its success, while Washington has surrounded Alex Ovechkin with plenty of talent.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting pick.
Panthers vs. Capitals Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
A battle of Eastern Conference powerhouses will commence on Tuesday as the Florida Panthers host the Washington Capitals. This will be the third time both teams square off with the season series tied 1-1.
Florida hit a bump in the road losing two in a row to the Seattle Kraken and Capitals, so expect the Panthers to come out with something to prove. Prior to losing two straight, they were on a roll, winning four in a row. So while things are good in South Florida, they need to get back on track.
The Caps just keep on dominating. While they are currently on a three-game winning streak, they have also won nine out of their last 11. It just seems to be going perfectly in the nation’s capital as they look to regain their status as an elite team in the NHL.
Panthers Elite Despite Missing Barkov
It’s hard to find another team as deep as the Panthers. Unfortunately for them, captain Aleksander Barkov has been out with a week-to-week knee injury, which is stifling, as he’s their No. 1 play-generator. Despite Barkov being out, players like Jonathan Huberdeau, Anthony Duclair, and Aaron Ekblad have picked up the slack. However, if they want to get back to their winning ways, getting their captain back is a good start.
Florida continues to be one of the elite teams in driving play. The Panthers stand in the top three in expected goals per 60 minutes with a 3.15 xGF and are fifth in high danger chances generated with 207. On special teams, the Florida power play has been fairly middle of the road. The Panthers score on the PP at an 18% rate and with the talent they have, one would expect that they would score more.
Sergei Bobrovsky continues to play like the best goalie in the NHL. After a sluggish first two seasons in Florida, the man they call “Bob” is back to dominating opposing offenses. He’s coming into this matchup with a forceful .936 SV% and a league best 18.6 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx). If Bobrovsky continues to play like this, then the sky’s the limit for the Panthers.
Capitals Solid Around Star Ovechkin
Washington has been playing out of its mind of late and is led by captain Alex Ovechkin, who is looking to break Wayne Gretzky’s scoring record. While he’s still more than 100 goals away, at the rate he’s playing (19 goals in 22 games) he will do it. Ovechkin is backed by a talented squad as well. Elite defenseman John Carlson, Tom Wilson and Evgeny Kuznetsov are all scoring at a point-per-game pace, which should scare the opposition.
While its opponents are the third best in expected goals per 60 minutes, Washington has the upper hand in that field. The Capitals are currently second best with a 3.18 xGF and don’t generate as many high danger chances as one would expect with 186. Either way, this offense is potent and will give opponents fits no matter who they’re playing. The Caps are always a threat on the power play, too, with Ovechkin’s deadly one-timer, but they haven’t connected as much as they have in the past, only scoring at an 18.8% rate.
Ever since Braden Holtby left the Caps, goaltending has been a sore subject. Ilya Samsonov was supposed to be the future, and even though he’s played decently (.918 SV% and a 3.8 GSAx), Vitek Vanecek has gotten most of the starts. Vanecek is a solid goaltender as well with a .906 SV% and poor -2.4 GSAx. More often than not, he’s gotten the job done.
Panthers vs. Capitals Pick
This is a battle between two elite teams in the East, so that could go one of two ways: either it’s a shootout or a battle of the goaltenders.
I personally think this could be a shootout given the high-octane offenses that Florida and Washington possess. Since Florida has struggled after losing Barkov, I think this will result in the Capitals getting the upper hand.
Pick: Washington Capitals at +125