Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers NHL Pick – Game 2 May 5

Following a shocking Game 1 upset, the veteran Washington Capitals will be seeking a commanding 2-0 series lead on Thursday night in Florida. The Panthers looked to be cruising, before a big third period from the Caps turned the tide in this tightly contested matchup. TJ Oshie was huge for Washington on the forecheck, while Vitek Vanecek outplayed Sergei Bobrovsky in goal.

Now the pressure will firmly be on Florida to find a way to respond. The Panthers won the President’s Trophy this past season and entered the playoffs with the league’s top-rated offense. After blowing a third-period lead in Game 1, and overcompensating with some excessive physical play, the Panthers will need to find their high-octane offense, and fast. Washington counters with a veteran-laden squad, and one that knows what it takes to win in the post-season. The Caps work well to stifle offensive chances, and can really work Florida’s blue-line off of the forecheck.

One injury to watch is the status of bruising Washington forward, Tom Wilson. Wilson left Game 1 early due to a lower-body injury, and failed to return. His status is currently listed as a game-time decision, and the physical winger is a huge piece of what the Caps do on both ends of the ice. Monitor this status in the lead-up to puck drop.

With the Panthers having not progressed past round one since 1996, you can bet many of their star talents are feeling the pressure after going down 0-1 this post-season. Florida is too talented to not break through offensively here, but the Caps are well-structured defensively and surely won’t make it easy on them. With Florida feeling some real urgency, it should make Game 2 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 a crucial Game 2.

Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers Live Odds & Betting History

Betting odds provided by BOVADA

Spread:

  • Washington Capitals +1.5 (-105)
  • Florida Panthers -1.5 (-115)
Moneyline:

  • Washington Capitals (+215)
  • Florida Panthers (-260)
Total Points:

  • Over 6.5 (-130)
  • Under 6.5 (+110)
TEAM DATA CAPITALS PANTHERS
Overall Record 44-26-12 58-18-6
ATS Record 42-40 42-40
Home/Away Record 25-11-7 34-7-1
Goals Per Game 3.3 4.1
Goals Against Per Game 3.0 3.0
Shots On Goal Per Game 31.9 37.3
Power Play % 18.8 24.4
Penalty Kill % 80.4 79.5

Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers Game 2 Prediction:

Game 1 of this series resurrected some of the worst fears Panthers’ fans had, going back to last season’s playoff failure. Florida’s high-powered offense was stifled, and the manner in which the Panthers won games in the regular season, may not carry over to the tighter-checking games of the post-season.

Washington outplayed Florida as well, even without Tom Wilson. The Caps’ registered 4.1 expected goals to Florida’s 2.2, and the heavy forecheck of Washington really presented some problems for the Panthers’ defense. Aaron Ekblad returned to the fold on the blue-line for the Panthers, but didn’t appear to be overly comfortable after a long layoff. Expect him to find his game quickly, or else it could be yet another first-round exit for Florida.

Tom Wilson remains a true game-time decision, but regardless, expect Florida to get back to their game. They’re the faster and deeper offense, and have two elite top-lines that should be able to pounce on the Caps, especially when John Carlson isn’t on the ice. At home ice, coach Andrew Brunette should feast on those matchups with his last-change advantage, and really make the Capitals try and chase their preferred pairings.

Look for the Panthers to really push the pace offensively, and not play into the game Washington wants them to play. Florida can beat the Caps with skill, and the Panthers ooze that. Sergei Bobrovsky should be better in goal Thursday night, and look for the Panthers to even this series back up at 1-1.

 

Panthers vs. Capitals Trends To Know:

  • Capitals are 9-4 in their last 13 road games.
  • Capitals are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
  • Capitals are 1-4 in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
  • Panthers are 46-11 in their last 57 home games.
  • Panthers are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Metropolitan.
  • Under is 3-0-1 in Capitals last 4 Conference Quarterfinals games.
  • Under is 4-0 in Panthers last 4 playoff games as a favorite.
  • Over is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings.
  • Capitals are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Florida.

 

This series is far from over, and expect the Panthers to remind the Capitals of just that in a big way come Thursday evening.  The skill of Florida should overwhelm Washington’s depth options – both on defense and up front.  Vitek Vanecek doesn’t inspire much confidence in goal, given his average career stats to date, and look for the Panthers to get back to their high-octane offensive ways.

Our Pick
Panthers
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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