Washington (3-1) at Vegas (1-3)
When: Thursday, June 7th 2018
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Vegas -141/5.5
Every NHL player dreams of winning a Stanley Cup and I’m sure its even more satisfying when you do it in front of your home fans. The Washington Capitals will be on the road for a potential series-clinching game and I’m sure Las Vegas would be everyone’s second choice to party all night after a big victory. The Vegas Golden Knights will try and delay that party when they host Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Thursday, down three games to one. The Capitals can help secure Washington’s first professional sports championship since 1992 with a win over the Golden Knights Thursday and bring a 9-3 road record this postseason into the contest. While teams that hold a 3-1 series lead in the Finals own a 32-1 record, the Capitals have failed to close the deal with that same advantage on five occasions in their history – and as recently as 2015 against the New York Rangers. The 1942 Detroit Red Wings are the only club to lose the Stanley Cup Final after holding a 3-1 series lead. Washington forward T.J. Oshie scored a goal and set up two others in Monday’s 6-2 triumph to give him 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in his past 15 games. Vegas, which has dropped three straight, did not lose four games in a row during the regular season.
If the Capitals do in fact go on to win the Cup, there will be a lot of debate on who will take home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP. There are some who like Braden Holtby (15-7, 2.13 goals-against average) since his paddle save on the doorstep in the waning moments of Game 2 arguably turned this series around. Holtby recorded consecutive shutouts to eliminate Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals and has won five of six overall, with a .965 save percentage in those victories. Captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL high-tying 14 goals, 12 assists) and fellow Russian countryman Evgeny Kuznetsov (12 goals, 19 assists) are also in the mix, with the latter netting four assists on Monday to become the fifth player since 1997 to reach the 30-point plateau in a single postseason.
James Neal has more postseason experience than just about all of the Vegas skaters, but blew a chance to get his team back in the game on Monday when his bid into an open net caromed off the far post. Three-time Stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury has not looked as sharp as he was in the first three rounds of the postseason (12-3, .947 SV%), posting a 1-3 record and .845 save percentage in the Finals. Forwards Williams Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault each have just two points in the series and will need to going if the Knights want to bring this series back to Washington.
I see why Vegas is favored in this game. They are back home where they play well, and they’ll be in desperation-mode. I just think Washington has their number right now, either at home or T-Mobile. Holtby has been way better than Fleury and the Capitals star players are coming through big time. I’ll ride the Caps here.
Pick: Capitals +128
- Capitals are 13-3 in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Capitals are 8-2 in their last 10 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Capitals are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Pacific.
- Capitals are 7-2 in their last 9 vs. Western Conference.
- Capitals are 16-5 in their last 21 road games.
- Capitals are 6-2 in their last 8 games following a win.
- Capitals are 27-11 in their last 38 overall.
- Capitals are 52-22 in their last 74 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Capitals are 18-8 in their last 26 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Capitals are 62-30 in their last 92 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Capitals are 3-8 in their last 11 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Capitals are 1-5 in their last 6 Thursday games.
- Golden Knights are 16-2 in their last 18 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Golden Knights are 7-1 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Golden Knights are 6-1 in their last 7 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Golden Knights are 7-2 in their last 9 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Golden Knights are 6-2 in their last 8 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Golden Knights are 20-7 in their last 27 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Golden Knights are 35-13 in their last 48 home games.
- Golden Knights are 5-2 in their last 7 Thursday games.
- Golden Knights are 13-6 in their last 19 overall.
- Golden Knights are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Metropolitan.
- Golden Knights are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Golden Knights are 1-5 in their last 6 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Under is 3-0-1 in Capitals last 4 Thursday games.
- Under is 14-4 in Capitals last 18 vs. Pacific.
- Over is 9-3-1 in Capitals last 13 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Over is 24-9-3 in Capitals last 36 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Over is 8-3-2 in Capitals last 13 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Under is 5-2-2 in Capitals last 9 overall.
- Under is 5-2-1 in Capitals last 8 road games.
- Under is 5-2-1 in Capitals last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Over is 5-2 in Capitals last 7 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 5-2-2 in Capitals last 9 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 4-1 in Golden Knights last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 4-1-1 in Golden Knights last 6 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 3-1-1 in Golden Knights last 5 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Under is 9-3 in Golden Knights last 12 Thursday games.
- Over is 8-3 in Golden Knights last 11 following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Over is 5-2 in Golden Knights last 7 home games.
- Under is 7-3 in Golden Knights last 10 vs. Eastern Conference.