The NHL Eastern Conference Finals are starting as the Washington Capitals head to the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida to face the Tampa Bay Lightning in game one of their best-of-seven series. The Capitals were better than the Penguins in six games to reach the finals. On the other side, the Lightning needed five games to eliminate the Bruins. The Lightning was the better team in the games during the regular season as they won 2 of their three games against the Capitals.
Washington Capitals Form
The Washington Capitals faced their Nemesis in the Playoffs for a third consecutive year. In the previous two seasons they have been knocked out by the Pittsburgh Penguins but this season they were able to get their revenge as they have eliminated the Champs in six games. The Caps are in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1997/98 when they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Capitals away record is 26-21 and they have averaged 2.98 goals per game and have conceded an average of 3.15 goals per game in those games.
The Capitals head into this round as the 1st in scoring during the playoffs at 3.58 goals per game, converting on 30.9% of their chances. At the defensive part of the game, during the playoffs, they have been above average so far as they are the 6th team in goals allowed, conceding an average of 2.67 goals per game, allowing the opposing teams to convert on 20.9% of their chances.
Tampa Bay Lightning Form
The Tampa Bay Lightning did not start well in the second round as they lost 6-2 to the Bruins, but they were able to regroup and bounce back. Now, Tampa Bay is in the Eastern Conference Finals for the 3rd time in the last four season. They will aim to repeat the season of 2004 when they won their only Stanley Cup. Their offensive firepower is their main strength as they outscored Boston with 15-7. The Lightning home record so far is 34-13 and they have averaged 3.55 goals per game and they have allowed 2.87 goals per game in those games.
During the postseason, Tampa Bay is the 3rd best team in the league in scoring at 3.50 goals per game, converting on 26.3% of their chances. At the defensive side of the game, they have been good in the playoffs as they are placed on the 4th in goals allowed, conceding an average of 2.50 goals per game, allowing the opposing teams to convert on 25.8% of their chances.
It seems that both teams are in a good form at the moment. The Caps and the Lighting have both won 8 of their last 10 games and this makes this game more interesting. However, I expect that the home ground will give the edge to Tampa Bay. The Lightning home record is 34-13 for the season, and on the other side, the Capitals away record stands at 26-21. Also, it is important to emphasize that the Caps had a tough series with the Penguins and Tampa was able to eliminate the Bruins with relative ease. So I think that the Lighting is more rested for this game. Go for Tampa Bay in this game one of the Eastern Conference Final.
My Free Pick & Prediction for Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning today on 5/11/2018 is: Take the Tampa Bay Lightning -180 (money line bet)
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