After escaping with a narrow 3-2 victory in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final the Washington Capitals return home on Saturday to face the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 as -125 favourites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Wednesday’s win as a +125 wager improved Washington’s road record to 9-2 during these NHL playoffs and evened the series with Vegas at one game apiece ahead of Saturday night’s Golden Knights versus Capitals betting matchup at Capitol One Arena.
While the Capitals have emerged as road warriors during the current postseason, they have struggled on home ice, going 4-5 in nine playoff contests, and 5-7-0 in their past 12 overall.
And despite taking home-ice advantage from the Golden Knights with Wednesday’s win, the Capitals continue to trail on the odds to claim the first championship in their 44-year history, lagging as +113 underdogs on the Stanley Cup odds after opening the series at +115.
The Capitals will need another big performance out of goaltender Braden Holtby in Saturday’s contest. The Washington netminder was spectacular at times while turning aside 37 of 39 shots to preserve the victory for the Capitals, who have been outshot by a wide 73-54 margin over the first two games of the series.
The Golden Knights hope to build on their 6-2 road record during the postseason as they travel to Washington as slender +105 underdogs. Overall, Vegas has earned their perch as betting favourites by going 13-4 so far this spring, and remain -133 chalk on the Stanley Cup odds despite Wednesday night’s disappointing loss.
Vegas has played stingy defence on the road during the playoffs, holding opponents to just 16 total goals through eight outings, including a pair of shutout performances by goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The three-time Stanley Cup winner has also enjoyed regular success in visits to Washington, both with Vegas and the Pittsburgh Penguins, going 17-8-2 in 28 career appearances, including a 5-1 mark in his last six playoff road matchups with the Capitals.
With both Holtby and Fleury on their game, bettors taking the UNDER in totals betting have reaped the benefits. The UNDER has gone 4-1 in Washington’s past five outings, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, and 5-1-2 in Vegas’ eight playoff road contests to date.
However, it was the OVER that paid out in the only previous meetings between these two teams at Capitol One Arena, a 4-3 Golden Knights victory as +102 underdogs on Feb. 4.