The Washington Capitals stumbled down the stretch as they lost five of their last six games. They had a chance to pass the Pittsburgh Penguins to play the New York Rangers, but instead, they get the reward of playing the Florida Panthers.
The Panthers were the NHL’s best team during the regular season after winning 58 games and finishing with 122 points. They won the President’s Trophy and will have home ice throughout the entire playoffs should they advance.
Florida has one of the league’s best offenses, and Washington will try to slow that attack down. What should we expect when these teams go at it?
Here are our favorite props for the first game of this series.
All NHL postseason odds are current as of Monday, May 2 at 11 a.m. ET, courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Panthers vs Capitals Game Props Game 1
Race To 4 Goals: Florida Panthers (+103)
Wager: 1 Unit
The Panthers averaged 4.11 goals a game this season and now they’re going up against a team that’s had shaky goaltending all year long.
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The Capitals have two netminders who didn’t even get above .910 this season in terms of save percentage.
Yes, scoring sometimes goes down in the playoffs with how games are called, but with how deep this team is, I still like for them to put up good numbers in this one.
Look for the Panthers to capitalize on the Capitals’ mediocre goaltending and so-so defense.
Winning Margin: Panthers by 2 goals (+525)
Wager: 1 Unit
The Panthers were the best team on home ice this season as they only lost seven of 41 games. Sure, they also played well on the road as they won 24 road games, but they were a different beast down in Sunrise.
It’s going to be rocking on Tuesday night as the Cats try to win their first playoff series since 1996, the year they made it to the Stanley Cup Final.
I like for them to get enough offense from their forwards and for defenseman Aaron Ekblad to show why he was badly missed. He looks to be on track to return after missing the last several weeks of the regular season with a lower-body injury.