Panthers vs. Capitals Game 4 Odds, Pick, Prediction: Florida’s Offense Should Come Alive (May 9)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images. Pictured: Florida Panthers standout Mason Marchment celebrates a goal with teammates.
- It's nearly time for Game 4 between the Florida Panthers and the Washington Capitals.
- The Panthers were one of the best offenses in the league this season and our expert expects them to play as such on Monday.
- Greg Liodice shares his best bet below.
Panthers vs. Capitals Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Game 4 in Washington is critical as the Caps can take a stranglehold on the series and put Florida’s impressive season in jeopardy.
The Panthers came into these playoffs as the highest scoring team in the league. With seven 20 goal scorers (including four 30 goal scorers), it’s always been expected that this team would light the lamp each game. However, the playoffs are a different breed and when Carter Verhaeghe is your leading scorer in three games, you have issues. No slight toward Verhaeghe, but guys like Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Claude Giroux and Sam Reinhart need to step up.
Florida spent most of the season near the top of the leaderboard in every seemingly stat you can imagine. The Panthers drove play with the best of them with a 56.4 xGF% (expected goals for) and an exceptional power play, scoring at a 24.4% clip. In the three games this series, they’ve controlled play well with a 52.55 xGF%, but have yet to score on the power play, which is highly uncharacteristic for the Cats.
Sergei Bobrovsky’s production dropped significantly as the season wore on. After a strong start to the year, the man they call “Bob” ended the year with a .913 SV% and a +23.4 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected). Since February 22, Bobrovsky has allowed three or more goals 13 times, including the playoffs. He’s currently posting a subpar .904 SV% and a +0.8 GSAx.
It doesn’t look like pesky winger Tom Wilson will be available after missing all but three shifts in these playoffs. He was unavailable for Sunday’s optional skate, which raises doubts about his availability for Monday. Luckily for the Capitals, they still have the core that led them to win a Stanley Cup four years ago. Captain Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson and TJ Oshie are still valuable pieces to this team and will be crucial moving forward.
During the season the Capitals were a fine team at driving their offense. They were 14th in expected goals with a 51.04 xGF%, but were also shockingly poor on the power play, scoring just 18.75% of the time. The Caps are always a threat on the power play with Ovechkin’s deadly one timer looming, so it was a surprise to see them underperform all year. Washington hasn’t done a great job at driving play this series with a 47.45 xGF, but the power play has shown up, scoring 33% of the time.
Ilya Samsonov is showing the Caps he’s the goaltender they believed he could be when they drafted him in 2015. While this season wasn’t a model season for him, the playoffs are a different animal. After a poor showing from Vitek Vanecek, coach Peter Laviolette went to the Russian for a new line of defense. In one and a half games, Samsonov is posting a stifling .979 SV% and a +3.0 GSAx. It’ll be interesting to see if he can keep it up against a devastating Florida offense.
Panthers vs. Capitals Pick
The NHL playoffs are always unpredictable, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that an experienced Capitals team is running the table against this deadly Panthers squad. It’s not to say Florida’s inexperienced, but its top contributors haven’t seen the second round yet.
Samsonov has been dominant, but I expect him to come back down to earth. The Panthers were the league’s top scoring team by a significant margin, but have only averaged 2.7 goals this series. One would have to think they’re due for an offensive explosion after uncharacteristically putting up just one goal on Saturday.
I do think Florida will come out on top. The Panthers seem to bounce back after enduring rough games. However, I’m not too crazy about the odds. Florida ML at -175 seems to be too big of a number for me and I’m more privy to pick them in regulation.
Pick: 3 way ML – Florida Panthers (-110)