Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning look to even the series at two games apiece at Capital One Arena in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The puck drops at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 17, and it’ll be showcased live on NBC Sports Network.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals Odds

Each side currently has an identical -110 money line in this one and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -115 money on the over and -105 for the under.

Tampa Bay is 63-32 straight up (SU) and has netted 11.0 units for moneyline bettors this season. 55 of its games have gone over the total, while 35 have gone under and just five have pushed. This 2017-18 Lightning team is 29-17 SU on the road.

After accounting for the third-strongest power-play unit in the regular season (scoring on 24.9 percent of all opportunities), the Lightning have been able to score on 30.0 percent of their extra-man advantages in the postseason. Their penalty kill has gone from 75.6 percent in the regular season to 73.2 percent in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay’s offensive attack attempted 32.4 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.6 goals per outing (ranked first overall in the NHL). In the postseason, the teams attempting an average of 30.8 shots on goal 3.3 goals per game.

With a .919 save percentage and 29.2 saves per game, Andrei Vasilevskiy (53-25-3) has been the best option in goal for Tampa Bay this season. If it chooses to rest him, however, head coach Jon Cooper may go with Louis Domingue (7-13-1 record, .896 save percentage, 3.35 goals against average).

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos will both be relied on to facilitate things for the visiting Lightning. Kucherov has 116 points on 46 goals and 70 assists, and has recorded two or more points 34 times. Stamkos has 33 goals and 68 assists to his creditand has logged a point in 62 games.

On the other side of the ice, Washington is 59-38 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 16.8 units this season. 53 of its games have gone over the total, while 40 have gone under and just four have pushed. This year, the team is 31-17 SU as the home team.

Washington has converted on 24.0 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s good enough for seventh-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 16th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.3 percent of all penalties.

Washington players have been called for penalties 4.1 times per game in total this season, 4.4 per game over their last five contests total, and 4.6 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties 8.8 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Braden Holtby has stopped 27.3 shots per game as the primary option in goal for Washington. Holtby has 44 wins, 24 losses, and five OT losses and has recorded a pedestrian 2.82 goals against average and a poor .910 save percentage this season.

Alex Ovechkin (59 goals, 47 assists) will pace the offensive attack for the Capitals.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals Betting Predictions

Free NHL Pick: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Washington’s attempted 29.7 shots per contest overall this season (ranked 31st in the NHL), and 33.0 in their last five home outings.
  • Extra-man opportunities could be critical tonight. The Lightning are 30-17 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 35-20 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Capitals are 17-12 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 32-19 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Washington skaters have forced 9.8 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 7.2 takeaways per game (ranked 14th in the league).
  • Tampa Bay is ranked 19th with 7.2 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher, as the team has managed 8.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.2 takeaways over its last five.