- The Capitals vs Panthers odds favor Florida as -230 moneyline favorites in Game 2 on Thursday (7:30 pm ET)
- Washington stunned the East’s top seed 4-2 in Game 1 on the road
- Read below for the Capitals vs Panthers odds, analysis and betting prediction
All of a sudden, the Florida Panthers don’t look so mighty after all. The Panthers cruised through the regular season en route to their second President’s Trophy in franchise history, but were given a rude welcoming in their first game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Florida dropped a 4-2 decision to Washington on Tuesday night, coughing up home ice advantage in their First Round series in the process. They’ll now look to rebound in Game 2 on Thursday, and once again they’re listed as hefty favorites.
Capitals vs Panthers Odds
|Washington Capitals||+1.5 (-120)||O 6.5 (-130)||+190|
|Florida Panthers||-1.5 (+100)||U 6.5 (+110)||-230|
Odds as of May 3rd at Barstool Sportsbook.
The Panthers opened up as -230 moneyline favorites, in a contest that features a total of 6.5 goals. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm ET at the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, FL with TBS providing the broadcast coverage.
Florida began the postseason with the second shortest price tag in the Stanley Cup Playoffs odds, but are now just -175 favorites to advance to the Second Round after dropping Game 1.
Capitals vs Panthers Betting Analysis
It’s extremely rare that the Panthers don’t post a victory when leading after 40 minutes regardless of where they’re playing. Prior to Tuesday, Florida blowing a lead on home ice after two periods was unheard of. But that’s exactly what happened in Game 1.
The Capitals rally from down 2-1 with 3 goals in the 3rd period to take Game 1 from the Panthers, 4-2.
In the regular season, Florida did not lose a game in regulation when leading after 2 periods, going 39-0-1, the best point percentage in the NHL in that scenario. pic.twitter.com/XATlnQQJOF
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 4, 2022
The Panthers coughed up a 2-1 lead to the Caps in the final frame, losing for just the second time in 41 opportunities when leading after two periods, and for the first time in 23 chances on home ice.
Evgeny Kuznetsov tied the game eight minutes into the third, and T.J Oshie put Washington ahead two minutes later. Caps goalie Vitek Vanecek did the rest stopping 30 shots, and Lars Eller added an empty netter for good measure.
Florida, who led the NHL by scoring 340 goals, the most since 1995-96, couldn’t solve Vanecek for the final 39 minutes of play. Jonathan Huberdeau, a top-four candidate in the Hart Trophy odds, and Aleksander Barkov, who combined for 203 points during the regular season, were held off the scoresheet and will need to bounce back in Game 2 for the Panthers to pull even.
Make no mistake, if the Florida Panthers lose this series, it will be the biggest disappointment in franchise history.
And for a franchise that has done nothing but disappoint its fans, that’s saying something. Come out better in game 2. #timetohunt
— p – MetalPanthers (@Metalpanthers) May 4, 2022
The good news for Florida backers however, is that Huberdeau hasn’t been held pointless in back-to-back games since October. He racked up five points in three regular season games versus the Caps, while Barkov scored twice in his lone regular season meeting with Washington.
Washington vs Florida Injury News
A big storyline to monitor heading into Game 2 is the health of Capitals veteran Tom Wilson. The 28-year-old left the game shortly after opening the scoring in the first period with a lower body injury and never ultimately returned to action.
Tom Wilson has a lower-body injury, per Laviolette. He’s still being evaluated.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) May 4, 2022
Wilson’s physical presence will sorely be missed if he’s unable to go in Game 2, as his gritty style of play is made for the postseason.
Alex Ovechkin meanwhile, is currently playing through a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the final three games of the regular season. Ovechkin recorded four shots and an assist in Game 1, but played only 17 minutes, three minutes less than his season average.
Capitals vs Panthers Pick
When Washington and Florida get together fireworks tend to ensue. All three regular season meetings produced at least seven goals, while the main reason Game 1 fell just a hair shy of that number was the play of Vanecek. We shouldn’t expect a repeat performance from him in Game 2 however, as he is simply not an elite goaltender.
Vitek Vanecek stopped 30 of 32 shots faced, earning his first career playoff win. Vanecek is the 16th goaltender in franchise history to earn a postseason victory.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) May 4, 2022
Vanecek allowed 3.2 goals per game over the final month of the season, posting a save percentage of only .875. He ranked 21st in goals against average and 34th in save percentage among netminders who played at least 19 games. The odds of him producing another effort like Tuesday’s are not high.
Florida’s offense meanwhile, will bounce back. The Panthers scored at least four goals in 12 of their last 18 games, while 18 of their final 30 games regular season contests produced at least seven goals.
Pick: Over 6.5 (-130)