Carolina Hurricanes (3-3, best of seven) @ Washington Capitals (3-3, best of seven)
April 24, 2019, 7:30 PM EST (Capital One Arena)
Moneyline: Carolina Hurricanes +140/ Washington Capitals -160
Puckline: Washington Capitals -1.5
ESPN NHL Scores: Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes
One night after a wild collection of game 7’s, the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes are both hoping for an easy night. Of course, the result being a blow out in their own favor.
With 17 goals apiece, in this series, the Capitals and Hurricanes have been able to mirror each other’s performances whilst owning home-ice. Will the Caps continue the trend or will the Hurricanes pull the upset?
Think size doesn’t matter in the playoffs? Tell that to Warren Foegele (as I double and triple check the spelling of his name). I joke because Warren was not a standout in the regular season, with only 15 points in 77 games.
But Warren leads the Canes in goals and points (4G and 6P) in the playoffs so far. Warren has also scored the first goal for Carolina in all three of their wins.
Scoring from Warren isn’t the winning formula. The true difference is in the defense and scoring. In their three wins, Petr Mrazek has only surrendered three goals and stopped .959% of the shots faced. In those games, the Hurricanes owned the 5-on-5 play with CorsiFor% Scores of 64.6, 55.7, and 66.2.
Carolina also did a wonderful job of blocking shots coming from the left circle (where Ovechkin loves to shoot from). If the Canes follow THAT recipe, they can pull the upset.
As the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Capitals already own the best excuse in the world for not winning: they just won last year. That being said, the notion of wanting to validate yourself and never being considered a fluke would require another deep run towards Stanley’s Cup.
So what do the Capitals need to do? They can’t let Petr Mrazek and the Hurricane’s defense dictate how the 2nd and 3rd periods go.
The Caps have been unable to take advantage of close games and keep the Hurricanes at bay. If they don’t get out to at least a 2-goal lead (or god forbid, allow the Hurricanes to score first), they relinquish all control to their opponent.
Even in game-six, the Caps were able to jump to two different one-goal leads, but the Hurricanes’ ability to control the puck and play a wonderful possession game appears to be too much for Washington to handle for three periods.
An early powerplay could make things all too easy for the Washington Capitals tonight.
Cover the Spread 365 NHL Betting Trends
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina’s last 7 games.
Carolina are 6-3 SU in their last 9 games.
Carolina are 5-12 SU in their last 17 games against Washington.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Washington’s last 6 games.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Washington’s last 6 games against Carolina.
Washington are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games at home.
Free NHL Predictions: Carolina Hurricanes @ Washington Capitals
Game seven! For all the marbles and a chance to face-off with the New York Islanders!
The Hurricanes and Capitals have told a very consistent story throughout this series. The Hurricanes own the puck, but sometimes that puck hates Petr Mrazek and would rather dance around him than bounce off of him (however, you’d think it would want to smack or hit him around if it hated him so much. Maybe it’s a bad analogy).
Have the Hurricanes figured out how to beat the Capitals (winning 3 of the last four games) or is that stat misleading due to playoff schedules? I like to think that the Hurricanes have at least established an ability to keep up with the Capitals (while on the road) and I think it bodes well for their chances tonight.
Mrazek got lit up in game five, but I think the Nicklas Backstrom magic will slow down with both teams playing a tighter game tonight.
The tighter game favors the Canes. They will own the puck, come the third period, and the Capitals won’t be able to match the speed. That’ll lead to a major upset, Mrazek redeeming himself on the road, and the Capitals eating an early, first-round exit.