If Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals is any indication, we are in for a wild series! The expansion Vegas Golden Knights are now just three wins from completing arguably the most unanticipated championship run in American sports history and are NHL odds favorites to win Game 2 in Sin City on Wednesday.
Capitals at Golden Knights NHL Odds & Game 2 Info
When: Wednesday, 8 PM ET
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
TV: NBC Sports Network
Stream: NBC Sports Live
Radio: 106.7 FM (Washington) / 98.9 FM (Vegas)
Opening NHL Odds: Vegas -152, Washington +137 (5.5)
Why Bet on Washington’s NHL Odds?
The Capitals can be a streaky bunch. They lost the first two games of their first-round series vs. Columbus at home by then won the next four. The Caps lost Games 3-5 in the conference finals against Tampa Bay but won the final two, including Game 7 in Tampa. And now the Caps are 0-5 all-time in Stanley Cup Finals games following their 6-4 loss in Vegas on Monday.
Nicklas Backstrom scored a goal and an assist in the loss. The Capitals found themselves down 1-0 in the first period after getting off to a slow start, but two quick goals by Brett Connolly and Backstrom gave them a 2-1 lead with less than five minutes left in the frame. Backstrom also added an assist on John Carlson’s game-tying tally (3-3) in the second. The Caps forward finished the game with a plus-1 rating, one shot on goal and two hits in 19:39 of ice time. He has five goals and 18 points in 16 games this postseason.
T.J. Oshie registered a pair of assists. Oshie picked up the primary assist on Backstrom’s go-ahead goal (2-1) in the first period. He also set up Carlson’s second-period tally with a great pass to the slot. Oshie finished the game with an even rating, three shots on goal and one hit in 19:30 of ice time. The 31-year-old has seven goals and 10 assists in 20 postseason games. The Caps had a 4-3 lead early in the third period, but they were unable to hold on for the victory.
Evgeny Kuznetsov extended his franchise-record point streak to 11 games with an assist. He is the first player to record a point streak of 11+ games in a postseason since Jonathan Toews (13 GP) and Johan Franzen (12 GP) in the 2010 playoffs.
Braden Holtby allowed five goals on 33 shots – the sixth goal was an empty-netter. It’s the first time in three games that Holtby allowed the opposition to score at least one goal. The Capitals grabbed a 4-3 lead early in the third period, but they allowed the Golden Knights’ fourth line to score three consecutive goals, including that empty-netter. Holtby owns a 12-7 record with a 2.20 goals-against-average and a .919 save percentage this postseason.
What Washington didn’t get was much of anything from superstar Alex Ovechkin.
Why Bet on Las Vegas’ NHL Odds?
It’s the third time in these playoffs that Vegas has won Game 1 of a series. The six goals were their second-most after a 7-0 Game 1 win over San Jose in the conference semifinals.
There were four lead changes in Game 1 of the Cup Finals, with the Golden Knights giving up leads of 1-0 in the first period and 3-2 in the second, and the Capitals blowing leads of 2-1 in the first and 4-3 in the third. Tomas Nosek scored the go-ahead marker with 10:16 remaining in regulation and added an empty-net goal in the 6-4 win over Washington.
These two teams went into the third period tied at three. After Washington took a 4-3 lead early in the frame, the Golden Knights fourth line went to work. Ryan Reaves tied the game before Nosek scored the game-winner with just over 10 minutes left and an empty-netter in the final seconds of regulation. Nosek finished the night with a plus-3 rating, three shots on goal, three hits and two blocked shots in 12:22 of ice time. The 25-year-old is up to three goals and five points in 13 postseason games. Nosek has scored three goals in three games after not scoring in his first 10 postseason games.
Reilly Smith picked up a goal and an assist in the win. Smith registered the primary assist on William Karlsson’s game-tying goal (2-2) late in the first period. He then gave his team a 3-2 lead less than four minutes into the second frame. Smith finished the night with an even rating, two shots on goal and five hits in 20:34 of ice time. The 27-year-old has three goals and 18 points in 16 games this postseason.
Marc-Andre Fleury allowed four goals on 28 shots. It’s the first time Fleury allowed four goals in a game since Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. Fleury now has a 13-3 record with a 1.81 goals-against-average and a .942 save percentage this postseason.
Latest NHL Betting Trends
- Washington is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games
- Washington is 12-6 SU in its last 18 games
- Vegas is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
- Vegas is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
- Over is 5-1 in Golden Knights last 6 home games
- Under is 3-0-1 in Capitals last 4 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game
Expert NHL Playoffs Betting Prediction
I think both goalies were a bit rusty in the opener. Take the under in Game 2 and the Capitals.