Capitals vs. Panthers Odds, Picks, Predictions for Game 2 of Stanley Cup Playoff Showdown (May 5)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Ovechkin.
- The Florida Panthers are hosting the Washington Capitals in Game 2 of their first-round series in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
- Washington pulled of an upset in Game 1, can it do so again? NHL betting analyst Tony Sartori shares his best bet below.
Capitals vs. Panthers Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Game 2 of the First Round is set to get underway as the Atlantic Division’s Florida Panthers host the Metropolitan Division’s Washington Capitals. Washington pulled off the upset in Game 1, beating Florida 4-2 on the road.
Will the Capitals pull off another upset to take a 2-0 series lead, or can the Panthers get revenge on home ice and even up the series?
The Washington Capitals looked tremendous in their 4-2 win in Game 1 and the metrics back that up. Taking everything into account, MoneyPuck.com had the Capitals winning that matchup 70.6% of the time after 1000 game simulations.
This figure makes sense because Washington did a great job generating high-danger scoring chances, while limiting any Florida offense outside of odd-man rushes. In all situations, the Capitals had 4.11 expected goals for (xGF) while the Panthers had just a 2.21 xGF.
Backing up the Capitals was the strong play of goaltender Vitek Vanecek, who stopped 30 of 32 shots, a 0.938 save percentage. Vanecek did everything he needed as the Panthers had a 2.21 xGF, meaning Vanecek had 0.21 goals saved above expected (GSAx).
A big storyline to keep an eye on is the injury status of Washington winger Tom Wilson. Wilson was the Capitals’ most impactful player in Game 1, despite playing just one minute and 31 seconds before leaving the game with a lower-body injury.
While his status is uncertain, I would be shocked if Wilson does not play. If he does not go, expect to see T.J. Oshie slide up into the second line role alongside Marcus Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom.
The Florida Panthers did not look like themselves in Game 1 and there is definitely some cause for concern with this season’s President Trophy Winners. Florida struggled mightily to muster any real dangerous scoring chances as they only had 2.21 expected goals for (xGF).
Their only two good looks came from a juicy rebound for Giroux, on which he scored, and Jonathan Huberdeau/Aleksander Barkov’s 2-on-1 following a turnover midway through the third period. Outside of those two events, Florida could not keep any real sustained pressure on Washington and struggled to get any high-danger scoring chances in front of the net.
Sam Bennett’s first goal of the game, while a heck of a snipe, is a shot the Capitals will live with Florida taking 10 times out of 10. Bennett’s goal was a wrister from just inside the blue line, a goal that had just a 1.5% chance of scoring per MoneyPuck.com.
Florida’s offense all season has been a product of its speed, ability to create off the rush and special teams. I have said all year that the Panthers’ style may struggle to translate to the playoffs, a tournament in which the game is slowed down and physicality is increased.
Defense is just as important as offense in the playoffs and Florida’s defense has been suspect all year. Entering the playoffs, the Panthers ranked just 17th in the league in five-on-five expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA).
Capitals vs. Panthers Pick
This series is far from over and the Panthers can put up five goals in a blink of an eye. However, the way they played in Game 1 was concerning and there is too much value on the Capitals’ puck line to pass up in Game 2.
While I do think the Panthers should be able to tie this series up before heading on the road, there is no reason for me to believe they will win this game by multiple goals given their Game 1 performance. Additionally, the Capitals could have Tom Wilson for all 60+ minutes of this game, which would be an even bigger advantage as they did fine without him after he left Game 1 in the first period.
Pick: Washington Capitals +1.5 (-120) | Play up to (-130)