Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers NHL Game 1 Pick – May 3

Old Southeast divisional rivals will face off Tuesday night in a crucial Game 1 contest as the President’s Trophy winning Florida Panthers will play host to the veteran Washington Capitals.

The Panthers throttled the league this season, and are only getting stronger with the post-season now on deck. Team captain and defensive stalwart Aaron Ekblad will return to the blue-line Tuesday night, and mixing the former first overall pick in with the NHL’s top-rated offense is an explosive recipe. Washington is expected to start relative newcomer to the playoffs in Vitek Vanecek in goal, and the lanky Czech netminder will have his work cut out for him against a dominant Florida attack.

Washington however enters with experience on their side in this series, still having much of their core from the 2018 Stanley Cup run intact. Though older now, the Caps can certainly be dangerous on special teams, and with John Carlson on defense, finding a way through when he is on the ice won’t be easy. Washington limped into the playoffs, losing four straight contests, but team captain Alex Ovechkin has reportedly shaken off his injury and is set to go for Game 1. It’s believed that the talented Russian scorer was battling a shoulder injury.

With the amount of star-power on display, this Panthers/Capitals series is definitely one of the more fascinating ones across the NHL’s opening round. The Caps will be seeking another Stanley Cup victory with an impressive core, while Florida will look to finally break through and go on a legitimate Cup run, with their young stairs leading the way. Florida hasn’t won a first-round playoff series since 1996, and many Panthers’ fans are hoping this is the year they can break through. All of this should make for an exciting watch, and we’ve got all of your betting needs and analysis below. Keep reading on beneath the posted odds for up-to-date odds on this heavyweight tilt between Florida and Washington in Game 1 action!

Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers Live Odds & Betting History

Betting odds provided by BOVADA


  • Washington Capitals +1.5 (-110)
  • Florida Panthers -1.5 (-110)

  • Washington Capitals (+210)
  • Florida Panthers (-250)
Total Points:

  • Over 6.5 (-130)
  • Under 6.5 (+110)
Overall Record 44-26-12 58-18-6
ATS Record 42-40 42-40
Home/Away Record 25-10-6 34-7-0
Goals Per Game 3.3 4.1
Goals Against Per Game 3.0 3.0
Shots On Goal Per Game 31.6 37.3
Power Play % 18.8 24.4
Penalty Kill % 80.4 79.5

Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers Prediction:

Despite the fact that the Panthers absolutely dominated most 5v5 offensive metrics this past regular season, there remains some uneasy feelings with this talented group as they approach the playoffs. Florida hasn’t won a series in almost 30 years, and even with loads of young talent, their first-round opponent in 2022 knows how to thwart high-end talent.

The Capitals are familiar with the Panthers and familiar with winning. And though they’ve historically dominated this core, expect Game 1 to represent a changing of the guard. Florida enters with a loaded lineup, blending size and speed, and one that can definitely stand up to the physical brand of hockey the Caps will look to employ. The likes of Sasha Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau should dominate their matchups, and once the Cats get pucks beyond the Washington blue-line, look for Florida to dominate off of the cycle.

While Sergei Bobrovsky in Florida always seems to be a bit of an enigma, it’s not as if Vitek Vanecek offers too much confidence for Washington either. With the goalie matchup expected to at worst be a wash, look for the skill, speed, and depth options of the Panthers to truly overwhelm a fading veteran corps from the Capitals.

Capitals vs. Panthers Trends To Know:

  • Capitals are 1-5 in their last six games.
  • The OVER is 11-3 in the Capitals’ last 14 road games.
  • Panthers are 8-4 in last 12 games vs. Capitals.
  • Panthers are 14-3 in their last 17 games.
  • Panthers are 11-1 in their last 12 home games.


Expect a high-octane and physical series between two of the NHL’s fiercest rivals from the old Southeast division.  Though the Caps used to run over Florida in previous matchups, look for the Cats to make a big statement on home-ice come Tuesday night.  Expect their depth scoring to wear down the defense of Washington, en route to a convincing victory in Game 1 action.

My Pick
Panthers -1.5
Will S. / Author

Will has been working with The Sports Geek since its early days back in 2010. He began as a soccer specialist, focusing on detailed reports for major international competitions, including the World Cup and European Championships. Since then, he has produced weekly pick articles on both the NFL and English Premier League, while also contributing blog posts on the NHL, MLB, and even WWE wrestling. Will is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy player, always eager to share his thoughts and insight on anything going on in the world of sports.

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