The Washington Capitals are going for broke this year. Washington has won the President’s Trophy for the second straight season but that isn’t enough for this year’s squad. Losing to Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season stung all offseason long and this team retooled, added some pieces at the trade deadline, and now looks poised to finally hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. Washington is the favorite to win it all according to Las Vegas, but first must get past the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round.
Log on to BookMaker online for all the latest NHL puck-lines, totals, moneylines, and props. BookMaker Sportsbook provides the earliest NHL odds and is your one stop shop for all your betting needs. The Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs will clash with a trip to the Eastern Conference semis on the line. You can watch all the action on the NBC family of networks.
Stanley Cup Playoff Odds at BookMaker.eu
Game 1: Toronto at Washington (4/13, 7 p.m. ET, USA)
Game 2: Toronto at Washington (4/15, 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Game 3: Washington at Toronto (4/17, 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Game 4: Washington at Toronto (4/19, 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Game 5: Toronto at Washington (If Necessary, 4/21, TBD)
Game 6: Washington at Toronto (If Necessary, 4/23, TBD)
Game 7: Toronto at Washington (If Necessary, 4/25, TBD)
Washington felt like it needed one more gun at the deadline and pulled the trigger on a deal that sent away a first-round pick, another conditional pick, and some players for St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk. Shattenkirk plays excellent defense and has a scoring touch that is sure to make him a lot of money in free agency this offseason. Since joining the Capitals he has 14 points in 18 games and is a great set-up man on the power play to boot.
Do you think Auston Matthews was worth the No. 1 overall pick? The youngster kicked off his career with a bang, tallying four goals in his first ever game, and is one of the main reasons why Toronto just made the playoffs for the first time in a non-strike shortened season since 2003-04. He eclipsed 40 goals in the penultimate game of the season and his scoring prowess gives this team a lot of reason to be optimistic about its future.
Just a few seasons ago, no one would have guessed that the Capitals would soon have one of the best defenses in the league, but the emergence of Braden Holtby has seen just that. Over the last three years, Washington has posted a save percentage above .920 and a GAA of 2.22 or lower and it’s mostly because of Holtby’s play in net. He won the Vezina Trophy for his efforts last season and although he won’t win it again, he did lead the NHL in shutouts with nine. Holtby was only in net against Toronto once this season however and allowed four goals on the night.
If there is one area where the Maple Leafs have the leg up on the Capitals, it’s the power play. Although Washington has a pretty good power play of its own, Toronto’s finished the season as the second-best in the NHL. The Maple Leafs have tallied six power play goals in their last seven games heading into the postseason and even their lone goal in their loss to Washington just a week ago was on the man advantage.
Free NHL Series ATS Pick
Toronto has been a great story and seeing this team in the playoffs after such a protracted absence is great, but it would be a massive shock to see the Leafs get past the Caps. Frederik Andersen is expected to play in the series, but may have suffered a concussion after leaving Toronto’s game against Pittsburgh a few days back with a head injury. Goaltender uncertainty is certainly not what the Maple Leafs need right now and a banged-up Andersen makes it even more unlikely they get past the Caps.
NHL Playoff Series Odds: Capitals win the series 4-2
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