Panthers vs Capitals Predictions: Expert NHL Picks & Betting Offers

The Panthers are ready to square off with Capitals F Alex Ovechkin. (Photo credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

Our NHL betting expert is here to offer his Panthers vs Capitals predictions and picks ahead of Saturday’s game, which starts at 1 pm ET in Washington.

Panthers vs Capitals Predictions

  • Panthers to cover -1.5 spread @ +125 via BetMGM
  • Over 6.5 Total Goals @ -130 via BetMGM
  • Capitals to score first @ +105 via BetMGM
FanDuel Sportsbook logo Get a $ 1000 Risk-Free Bet Claim This Offer 21+. New customers only. AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV only. T&C apply
Betway Sportsbook logo $ 250 Risk-Free First Bet Claim This Offer New players only, 21 or older. NJ, PA, IN, CO, IA only. Full T&C apply.
Caesars Sportsbook logo Get up to $ 1100 in first bet insurance Claim This Offer Must use promo code MAXSPORTNJCZR. New users only. T&C apply. 21+. NJ, CO, IA, IN, MI, PA, TN, VA, WV, AZ, NY, LA Only.
BetMGM logo Risk Free First Bet up to $ 1,000 Claim This Offer New customers only. Must be 21+. NJ, CO, DC, IA, IN, MI, NV, PA, TN, WV, IA, VA, WV, WY only. Full T&C apply. * Free 1 year subscription is available to New Jersey players only.

Panthers vs Capitals Picks: The Analysis

The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida Panthers rebounded from a disappointing series-opening loss to even their series with the Washington Capitals with a 5-1 Game 2 victory on Thursday. Now, Florida will look to take its first series lead when they meet the Capitals Saturday afternoon in Washington.

The Panthers finished 22 points ahead of the Capitals en route to claiming the regular-season championship, and showed in Thursday’s victory why they are the heavy favorites in the Eastern Conference opening round series.

Interestingly enough, the Panthers have not really played their top-shelf game from start to finish. There were signs last game when they broke open a one-goal game with a three-goal second period.

All that said, the Capitals deserve credit not only for winning the opener but holding their own until nearly the midway point of Game 2. Whether the Capitals have enough to regain the series lead on home ice remains to be seen.

Another statement from Panthers

All three regular-season meetings were one-goal games, including the lone affair in Washington, which the Capitals won 4-3 in late November. The easy call would be to simply say the Panthers – who are actually road favorites – will win, but the way Florida dominated Game 2 is a sign of a team starting to find its form.

As well, the Panthers have not seen any offensive contribution of note from Jonathan Huberdeau, who led them in scoring in the regular season. Huberdeau is yet to score a goal in this series despite leading the Panthers with eight shots on goal in the first two outings.

For those who want to point out how Washington is returning home after splitting the first two games in Florida, the Capitals posted the worst home record of the 16 playoff teams (19-16-6).


Panthers to cover -1.5

Goals by the dozen?

The aforementioned Huberdeau is not the only standout to yet make their mark. Washington captain Alex Ovechkin – the 50-goal scorer in the regular season – has yet to light a lamp, having netted two assists.

Ovechkin has fired nine shots on goal, so it’s just a matter of time before he scores once or twice at that shooting rate. He scored four times in three regular-season meetings – and would be a good candidate to bet on tallying in this game.

As well, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who finished second in team scoring during the regular season, has one goal and no assists, and John Carlson – the high-scoring defender – has only one assist.

A 6-4 game does not sound far-fetched for a pair of teams who combined for 26 goals in three regular-season meetings.

Capitals to draw first blood

As much as we are on the Panthers bandwagon, the Capitals are a capable team and will have some extra jump from the drop of the puck. With that in mind, do not be surprised if the hosts ride that home-crowd emotion to the first goal of the game.

Washington scored first in 52 games, which was tied for the second most in the league, during the regular season. The Capitals also lost 11 games when they scored first, the most of any of the playoff teams.


Capitals score first

Panthers vs Capitals Odds

Odds courtesy of BetMGM, accurate at the time of publishing, subject to change.

Total Goals 6.5 Team Spread Money line
Over -130 Panthers -1.5 (+125) -190
Below +105 Capitals +1.5 (-155) 155

Note to readers: we may earn a commission from the offers and links on this page.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.