Lightning vs. Capitals Prediction
Neither the Tampa Bay Lightning or Washington Capitals have won at home through three games of the Eastern Conference Finals. Will that change tonight in Game 4 as Washington is the small home favorite?
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Capital One Arena at 8PM ET
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Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers, the Capitals are a -120 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Lightning are a +100 underdog, while the total is set at 6 goals. As of Thursday afternoon, 65 percent of public bets are coming in on host Washington. Check out our NHL Public Betting Page for the latest info.
Johnson, Backstrom questionable
Both the Lightning and the Capitals have a center who is questionable to play tonight. Tampa Bay center Tyler Johnson (arm) has three goals and four assists in 13 playoff games. During the regular season, he tallied 21 goals and 29 assists in 81 regular season games. As for Washington, center Nicklas Backstrom (hand) has yet to play in this series. He has three goals and 10 assists in 11 postseason contests. During the regular season, he accounted for 21 goals and 50 assists in 81 regular season games. The only other player on the injury report is Lightning left winger Adam Erne (lower body), who is also questionable but has not played in the playoffs after seeing action in 23 regular season games.
Lightning double up Caps
Tampa Bay secured its first win of the playoffs in Game 3 Tuesday night as it prevailed 4-2 in Washington. Steven Stamkos scored on a power play goal in the first period, while Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman scored early in the second period to make it a 3-0 game. The Capitals got one goal back on a Brett Connolly tally midway through the second, but a Brayden Point goal with 3:57 left in the period pushed it back to a three-goal advantage. Washington would get one goal back on the ninth goal of the playoffs by Evgeny Kuznetsov, with 3:02 left, but the Lightning would not allow it to get any closer. Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 36 of 38 shots to record the win. Braden Holtby took the loss for the Caps as he surrendered four goals on only 23 shots.
NHL Betting Trends
The Lightning are 4-0 in their last four road games. The road team is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
The under is 2-0-2 in the last four meetings in Washington. The over is 20-7-3 in the last 30 meetings.
Don't get fooled into thinking the road team will win every game just because it has happened so far. Washington had far more shots on goal in Game 3 and Holtby should be able to bounce back from a subpar effort, although the Lightning did do a good job placing shots in the top shelf where even the best goalie would struggle to stop them. As long as the Capitals win the shots on goal statistic decisively again, I expect the hosts to get the win and take a 3-1 series lead.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: WASHINGTON CAPITALS -120