Free NHL Consensus Playoffs Picks: Lightning vs Capitals (Game 3)
The NHL’s Conference Finals continue with Game 3 of the Tampa Bay and Washington series on Tuesday night. The Capitals will be at home for the first time this series. The game will be held on NBCSN at 8:00 PM ET. Here is my best bet for the NHL Eastern Conference Finals on May 15. My picks for tonight is below and the odds can be found at Sportsbetting.ag – Don’t Miss 75% Up To $1000 Bonus.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals Predictions
The Capitals finished in first place of the Metropolitan Division at the end of the regular season with a 49-26-7 record. Washington took a step back from last season’s President’s Trophy winning campaign, but it was enough to get them into the playoffs. Tampa Bay finished the season with a 54-23-5 record, which was good enough to earn first place in the Atlantic Division. This year was a much bigger success for the Lightning. Last season Tampa Bay missed the playoffs completely.
The Capitals took care of Columbus in the first round in six games. Washington faced a difficult test against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals were finally able to overcome their playoff demons by beating the Penguins in six games. Tampa Bay beat New Jersey in the first round in five games. The Lightning was then able to beat Boston in five games as well in the second round.
Game 1 was held in Tampa Bay, but it was Washington that put on a show for the crowd. The Capitals jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist and T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had two assists as the Capitals won 4-2. Braden Holtby had a .905 save percentage. Andrei Vasilevskiy was pulled at the end of the second period with a .840 save percentage.
The Capitals once again put on a show in Tampa Bay. Washington was able to steal Game 2 with a 6-2 victory. Lars Eller and Evgeny Kuznetsov each scored a goal and two assists to lead Washington to victory. Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos both scored a goal and added an assist. Holtby had a .943 save percentage. Vasilevskiy continued to struggle against Washington with a .838 save percentage.
Tampa Bay Lightning (+106) At Washington Capitals (-117)
Adam Erne is the only player listed on the Lightnings injury report. Erne is questionable for Game 3. Nicklas Backstrom has been out for the last couple of games. Backstrom is questionable for Game 3. Braden Holtby has a .926 save percentage and a GAA of 2.04 in this season’s playoffs. Holtby has gone 10-3 in this year’s playoff run. Andrei Vasilevskiy has a save percentage of .912 and a 2.74 GAA. Vasilevskiy has gone 8-4 in the playoffs.
The Capitals are listed at a -117 money line, which gives them implied odds of 54 percent to get the win. I believe that after the two wins on the road, Washington should be a bigger favorite. The line has not shown movement, but it could take a swing if the Capitals announce Backstrom’s return to the lineup.
Tampa Bay is in do or die mode now because they know that if they fall down 3-0 in the series, that the chances of them coming back get even slimmer. I believe that the Capitals will play strong in front of their home crowd, but in the end the Lightning pull off the upset. Tampa Bay was able to put up two convincing series in the first two rounds, which shows that they are not in the Eastern Conference Finals by luck. I believe the Lightning make this series interesting with a Game 3 upset.