Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals Matchup Preview 4/11/19

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The Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes collide at Capital One Arena in Game 1 of the opening round of the NHL Playoffs. The action will get started at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 11, and fans at home will be able to catch this Metro Division matchup live on USA, R360, FSCR and TVA2.

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals Odds

Carolina (+125) is entering this one as the underdog to Washington (-145), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. If you want to play this game’s total, you’ll be looking at odds of -110 for the over and -110 on the under.

The Capitals are 48-34 straight-up (SU) and have netted moneyline bettors 6.5 units this year. That winning percentage, ranked fifth in the NHL so far this season, hasn’t moved much from what the team posted during the 2017-18 season (49-33). Through 82 regular season matches, 41 of its games have gone over the total, while 38 have gone under and just three have pushed. The team’s 24-17 SU at home this season.

Washington has converted on 20.8 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 24th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.9 percent of all penalties.

As a team, Washington has been penalized 3.8 times per game overall this season, and 1.6 per game over its last five contests at home. The team’s had to defend opponent power plays for just 5.7 minutes per game over its last 10 outings, in total.

Averaging 27.7 saves per game with a .911 save percentage, Braden Holtby (32-27-7) has been the top option in goal for the Capitals this season. If the Caps decide to give him a breather, however, the team could turn to Pheonix Copley (17-10-10 record, .905 save percentage, 2.90 goals against average).

Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom will both lead the charge for the Capitals. Ovechkin (89 points) is up to 51 goals and 38 assists and has recorded multiple points 23 times this year. Backstrom has 22 goals and 52 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 49 contests.

Over on the other bench, Carolina is 46-36 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.7 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far. Through 82 regular season contests, 46 of its games have gone under the total, while 34 have gone over and just two have pushed. As the road team, Carolina is 22-19 SU.

Carolina has converted on 17.8 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked ninth overall and it’s successfully defended 81.6 percent of all opponent power plays.

Carolina’s players have been penalized 3.5 times per game in total this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five on the road. The team’s had to stave off opponent power plays just 6.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Petr Mrazek (25.2 saves per game) has been the main choice in goal for Carolina. Mrazek owns a 23-17-3 record, and has registered a .914 save percentage and 2.39 goals against average this year.

Sebastian Aho (30 goals, 53 assists) has been one of the primary facilitators on offense for the visiting Hurricanes.

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals Betting Predictions

NHL Tip: SU Winner – Hurricanes, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • For both of these clubs, the under has hit in three of their past five matchups.
  • Carolina’s attempted 34.4 shots per game overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 35.4 in its last five road games.
  • Power plays and penalty kills could prove to be critical in this matchup. The Hurricanes are 18-20 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 32-28 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Capitals are 19-9 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 32-19 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Washington is ranked 8th in the league with 8.4 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended upward, as it has managed 11.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 11.8 takeaways over its last five.
  • Carolina has allowed 2.7 goals per game overall this year, but has gotten that figure down 1.7 per contest over their three-game winning streak.
  • Carolina has averaged 6.2 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 10.8 takeaways per game (ranked third).