The Vegas Golden Knights will look to continue their amazing run, as they host the Washington Capitals in Game 2 of the of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday in a game that can be seen on NBCSN. The Golden Knights took Game 1 on Monday, winning by a score of 6-4. There was very little defense played in Game 1, the referees decided to ignore obvious penalties, and neither goaltender played very well. It could be a much different scenario on Wednesday. Let’s look at Game 2 and Stanley Cup Playoff picks.
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Game 2 Odds - Vegas Golden Knights -155, total 5.5
Game 1 on Monday was not well played, but it was exciting, as the teams combined to score 10 goals. The Capitals actually led in the third period before Vegas rallied to win. There were a Final-record four lead changes in Game 1."We put fun ahead of everything, and you can tell," said Vegas’ Ryan Reaves to the media, "Guys have are having fun and they're smiling." The Golden Knights didn’t play well on defense, but they still found a way to win. "We're a good defensive group, but we weren't tonight," Jonathan Marchessault said. "They're a team that's very fast in the neutral zone, and we gave them too much respect with the puck. We need to be faster in the defensive zone. We're going to fix that in our game."
History is not on the side of the Capitals as the winner of Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Final has gone on to win the Cup 61 times in 78 tries. The Capitals are saying that Game 1 was simply a nervous one that is now in the past. "I think next game is going to be different, and all the nervousness, all the bad thing goes away in this game," said captain Alex Ovechkin to the media, "We just have to forget about it and bounce back (in the) next one."
The referees decided to call almost nothing in Game 1, so the special teams were not that important. That should change going forward. The Capitals were 7th on the power play and 15th in penalty killing this season, while the Golden Knights were 11th on the power play and 10th in penalty killing.
Even with the loss on Monday, the Capitals are 13-3 in their last 16 road games. The Capitals are 18-5 in their last 23 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game. The Golden Knights are 35-12 in their last 47 home games.
Looking at the total, the Under is 12-3 in the Capitals last 15 vs. the Pacific Division. The Over is 5-1 in the Golden Knights last 6 home games.
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If you believe what the players and the coaches are saying about Game 1, we should have a completely different Game 2. Both teams played very poorly on defense and each goaltender struggled. That should change now that the butterflies are gone. The Capitals have proven time and time again in this year’s playoffs that they are really good at bouncing back from losses. I will take the plus money and go with Washington to get the win in Game 2. Both teams will be wanting to clamp down on defense in Game 2 and avoid the mistakes that were made on Monday, so this should be a much tighter checking game. I will also take the game under the total.
NHL Odds: Take the Capitals and the Under in Game 2
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