The Washington Capitals will try and clinch their first-ever Stanley Cup on Thursday night, as they visit the Vegas Golden Knights on NBC. The Golden Knights won the first game of this series but it has been all Washington since. History is not on the side of Vegas, as 31 of the 32 teams to hold a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final have gone on to win the Cup. Let’s take a look at Thursday’s contest and Stanley Cup picks.
At 8 p.m. ET, tune into NBC for live television coverage of this NHL game on Thursday, June 7, 2018, at T-Mobile Arena.
We'll have NHL odds at BookMaker.eu available for every game of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Game 5 Odds – Vegas -142, total 5.5
The Capitals are one win away from winning the Stanley Cup. Washington is getting strong play from Evgeny Kuznetsov, Alexander Ovechkin and Braden Holtby and the Golden Knights are on the ropes. The Capitals routed Vegas 6-2 to win Game 4 on Monday night to take a 3-1 series lead. The game turned when James Neal missed a wide open net in the first period. The Capitals didn’t miss their chances and Vegas went from a team favored to win this series after Game 1 to a huge underdog in the series after Game 5. No team has blown a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final since Detroit in 1942.
Everything had gone right for Vegas this season, virtually from the start, but that has not been the case in this series. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been hung out to dry on a regular basis and his chances of winning the Conn Smythe MVP are nearly gone. Most of the goals have not been his fault. "At least five of the six goals were wide-open nets," head coach Gerrard Gallant said to the media. "Nothing he could do on them."
The Capitals have to avoid looking too far ahead. Coach Barry Trotz wants his team to focus simply on Game 5. "You have the opportunity to do something special as a group, but it's going to be the hardest thing to do, the hardest game to win because there's a very good team on the other side, a very proud team," Trotz said to the media. "They're great in their building. We're not scared of their building. We've proved it that we're very good on the road and we're going to go there and put our best effort in there."
The Capitals are 8-2 in their last 10 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game. The Capitals are 16-5 in their last 21 road games. The Capitals are 18-8 in their last 26 games playing with two days of rest. The Capitals are 3-8 in their last 11 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game. The Golden Knights are 6-1 in their last 7 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game. The Golden Knights are 35-13 in their last 48 home games. The Golden Knights are 1-5 in their last 6 games playing with two days of rest.
Looking at the total, the Over is 24-9-3 in the Capitals last 36 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game. The Under is 5-2-1 in the Capitals last 8 road games. The Over is 8-3 in the Golden Knights last 11 following a loss of 3 or more goals. The Over is 5-2 in the Golden Knights last 7 home games.
Free NHL Picks
This is a very difficult game to call, as the Capitals are clearly the better team, but the Golden Knights simply have to win. I will avoid a side and look at the total. Both teams should be playing a little more cautious on Thursday night and except for Game 1 and the third period of Game 4, this has been a low scoring series. I will go under the total on Thursday.
NHL Odds: Go Under the total in Game 5.
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