The first-round matchup between the Florida Panthers and the Washington Capitals heads to Game 2 with the Capitals leading 1-0 as we look at the moneyline, over/under, and player props for this game.
Florida Panthers (-250) vs Washington Capitals (+200)
The Panthers lost control of Game 1 late after the Capitals stormed back and stunned the Presidents’ Trophy winners. The Panthers won’t take that loss easily as they finished the regular season 34-7 at home and were 22-0-0 when leading after two periods on home ice. Teams were also 0-39-1 against the Panthers on the season after trailing through two periods. Don’t expect that to happen again if the Panthers take a lead into the third period. They will have learned from their mistakes.
The Panthers were the highest-scoring team since 1995-96 and are looking to explode offensively as we all know they can. Vitek Vanecek and the Capitals subdued the Panthers for one game, but it shouldn’t last as there were holes in their defensive and goaltending sides of the game all season. Take the Panthers to come back strong in Game 2. Also consider taking the puckline (+100) for them and the over (O6.5, -135).
Sam Reinhart – Anytime Goal-Scorer (+175)
Sam Reinhart had career highs in goals and points this season as a first-year member of the offensively dominant Panthers. He was no bystander, as he reached 30 goals for the first time and scored 16 of them on the power play. It was his first-ever playoff game in the NHL, so he may have needed a game to shake off any nerves.
He and the Panthers should come back strong and put up a big performance offensively against these Capitals. The Capitals’ goaltending isn’t their strong suit and they were just an average team defensively throughout the regular season. If the Panthers score and take advantage of the power play, it’s likely Reinhart will be involved.
Alex Ovechkin – Anytime Goal-Scorer (+125)
Alex Ovechkin returned for Game 1 of the series and had an assist. As possibly the best goal-scorer all time, it’s never a bad bet to place your money on him scoring a goal. The Panthers are not the best team at defending and they don’t have an elite goaltender, so more likely than not some goals will find their way into the back of the net.
Ovechkin scored 50 again this season at age 36 and has shown no signs of slowing down. He knows what it takes to go all the way in the playoffs and also has 71 career playoff goals in 142 games. I like those odds if he has scored every second game he’s played in the postseason.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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