Two teams that have put themselves squarely in playoff contention, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals collide at Capital One Arena for an Eastern Conference tilt. The first puck will drop at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, November 24, and fans at home are able to catch it live on NBC Sports Washington.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals Odds
Tampa Bay comes into the game as the favorite with a -120 moneyline. The line for Washington sits at +100, and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total sit at -125 over, +105 under.
Tampa Bay is 16-5 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 9.1 units this year. Through 21 regular season contests, 13 of its games have gone over the total, while eight have gone under and none have pushed. The Bolts are 7-2 SU as an away team in 2017-18.
Tampa Bay currently has the second-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 27.2 percent of its extra-man chances this year. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 10th overall, and it has successfully killed off 83.3 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, Tampa Bay has been penalized 4.2 times per game in the 2017-18 season, and 3.4 per game over its last five on the road. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 7.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 30.4 saves per game with a .929 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (15-3-1) has been the best option in goal for Tampa Bay this season. If head coach Jon Cooper chooses to rest him, however, the team might turn to Peter Budaj (1-2-1 record, .873 save percentage, 3.33 goals against average).
The visiting Lightning will be led by Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. Stamkos has 36 points via 10 goals and 26 assists, and has recorded two or more points 11 times. Kucherov has 17 goals and 16 assists to his credit (and has notched a point in 17 games).
Washington is 12-11 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.1 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 12 of its matches have gone over the total, while 11 have gone under and none have pushed. It’s 7-4 SU as the home team this year.
Washington has converted on 21.1 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 77.4 percent of all penalties.
Washington skaters have been called for penalties 4.9 times per game in total this season, and 4.0 per game over their last five home outings. The team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays 9.2 minutes per contest over their last five home games.
Braden Holtby has denied 29.2 shots per game as the top choice in goal for Washington. Holtby has 12 wins and five losses to his name and has maintained a mediocre 2.62 goals against average and a .920 save percentage this season.
Evgeny Kuznetsov (six goals, 20 assists) will pace the attack for the Caps.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Capitals, O/U – Under
- The total has gone over in three of Washington’s last five games.
- Penalties and power plays could prove to be even more critical than usual in tonight’s game. The Lightning are 9-3 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 7-3 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Capitals are 4-1 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 6-2 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
- Washington is 2-0 in games decided by a shootout this season while Tampa Bay is 1-1 in shootouts.
- Washington skaters have forced 6.8 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 6.4 takeaways per game (ranked 23rd overall).
- Tampa Bay skaters have managed 10.0 takeaways per game over its last five road games, an improvement over its season average of 8.0 takeaways per game (ranked 14th in the NHL).