Washington Capitals (64-32-9) at Vegas Golden Knights (64-29-8)
NHL: Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET (T-Mobile Arena)
Goalies: Braden Holtby (34-16-4, 2.99 GAA) vs Marc-Andre Fleury (29-13-4, 2.24 GAA)
Line & Odds: Washington Capitals +1.5/ Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 — Over/Under: 5.5
FREE NHL PICKS VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS VS WASHINGTON CAPITALS
The Vegas Golden Knights find themselves on the brink of elimination as they head back to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for Game 5 down 3-1 against the Washington Capitals.
If the Vegas Golden Knights want their cinderella story of a season to have its fairytale ending they’ll need to get their act together and pull together three straight victories. The No.1 room for improvement has to be on the defensive end as they have allowed an incredible four goals per game to the Capitals. That just isn’t going to get it done. During the regular season they allowed just 2.74 goals per game (8th in NHL) on 30.7 shots on goal (7th in NHL), so they’ve shown the ability to defend at a high level night in and night out. Unfortunately, the biggest reason the Golden Knights have been unable to keep up with the Capitals is because arguably their two best players, William Karlsson and Marc-Andre Fleury, have not shown up in this series. Fleury has yet to have a game in the Stanley Cup Finals with a save % over .900 and he has allowed at least three goals in every game while Karlsson has only registered a goal and an assist with a -2 plus/minus in this series. If these two don’t get their acts together this series is surely over. Even with consistent production coming from Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault throughout the series, they need Karlsson’s scoring prowess to keep up with the Capitals scoring pace. They’ve shown they can do it as they averaged 3.27 goals per game (5th in NHL) on 10.0% shooting (8th in NHL) and 32.8 shots on goal (11th in NHL) during the regular season. In the end, the all-around play that got the Golden Knights to this stage needs to show if they want to extend this series. One positive note is that of the next three games to be played two of them are in Vegas, so anything could happen.
Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are on the verge of something that has never been done in franchise history, win the Stanley Cup Final. With a 3-1 lead in the series and the dominating display they have shown throughout this series, the Capitals have almost solidified their first championship. However, they can not allow this to get them too excited as it can cause the Golden Knight to creep back into the series. In Game 4 it seemed like nothing could go wrong for the Capitals as they scored six goals with six different players getting on the score sheet while Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom recorded four and three assists respectively. It just seems as if everybody is getting hot at the right moment, with the Capitals having seven players with double digit points in the playoffs. When you compare that to the Golden Knights who only have four players with double digit points you can understand why they are getting outscored so much. Ovechkin has done his part as well to make sure his team is on the winning side as he has recorded a point in every game this series with two goals and two assists. The biggest turnaround from Game 1 to now has easily been goalie Braden Holtby. After getting rocked for five goals and a save % under .850 in the first game, Holtby has been excellent allowing two goals or fewer and a save % over .930 in every game. That’s elite and if he keeps locking it down like this the Golden Knights will barely have any opportunities to take the momentum of the series back. A big factor to remember heading into Game 5 is that the Capitals have been the best road team in the playoffs this year and they smell blood in the water.
Cover The Spread 365 NHL betting trends
2-4 ATS in their last 6 games
13-6 SU in their last 19 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 6 games
6-1 ATS in their last 7 games
5-1 SU in their last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 7 games
FREE NHL PREDICTION VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS VS WASHINGTON CAPITALS
The Stanley Cup Finals have been entertaining, but fairly one-sided up until this point. The Golden Knights are the better overall team, but they have yet to show it with the Capitals getting pretty much whatever they want on the offensive end. Even though the Golden Knights are at home don’t expect them to take advantage of that as they are taking on the team with the best road record in the playoffs. Plus, with the Capitals having won there already expect their confidence to be high. Especially Ovechkin, who is in search of his first Stanley Cup Final win.