Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals Matchup Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning at Capital One Arena in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the matchup, and the action gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 15.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals Odds

Tampa Bay (+100) is playing the role of underdog to Washington (-120) and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-115 for the over, -105 for the under).

Tampa Bay is 62-32 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 10.0 units this year. 55 of its outings have gone over the total, while 35 have gone under and just four have pushed. The Bolts are 28-17 SU as the road team in 2017-18.

After producing the third-best power-play unit in the regular season (scoring on 24.7 percent of all chances), the Lightning have connected on 28.9 percent of their power plays in the postseason. Their penalty kills gone from 75.4 percent in the regular season to 71.1 percent in the playoffs.

The Lightning offense attempted 32.5 shots per game in the regular season, leading to 3.6 goals per outing (ranked first overall in the NHL). In the postseason, the team is attempting an average of 31.5 shots on goal 3.3 goals per game.

Averaging 29.1 saves per game with a .918 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (52-25-3) has been the primary option in goal for Tampa Bay this year. If Tampa Bay decides to rest him, however, head coach Jon Cooper could turn to 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 produce for the visiting Lightning. Kucherov has 114 points on 45 goals and 69 assists, and has recorded two or more points 34 times. Stamkos has 32 goals and 67 assists to his nameand has notched a point in 61 games.

On the other side of the ice, Washington is 59-37 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 17.9 units this year. Through 96 regular season matches, 53 of its games have gone over the total, while 40 have gone under and just three have pushed. It’s 31-16 SU as the home team this season.

The Capitals have converted on 24.2 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark 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 79.6 percent of all opponent power plays.

Washington players have been whistled for penalties 4.1 times per game in total this season, 4.2 per game over their past five games total, and 4.4 per game over their last five at home. The team has had to kill penalties 8.8 minutes per game over their last five home outings.

Braden Holtby has stopped 27.4 shots per game as the top option in goal for the Capitals. Holtby has 44 wins, 23 losses, and five OT losses to his credit and has maintained a mediocre 2.80 goals against average and a .911 save percentage this year.

Alex Ovechkin (59 goals, 47 assists) will lead the offensive counter for the Caps.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals Free Picks

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

Betting Trends

  • Washington’s attempted 29.6 shots per contest overall this season (ranked 31st in the NHL), and 37.0 in their last five home outings.
  • Over Washington’s last ten outings, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 5-1 in those games).