The Capitals have now lost three games in a row, and head back to Washington to hopefully even out this series. If you are a Capitals there is obviously some concern being raised here as they have lost three straight and face elimination tonight but also the Capitals have looked like the better team in a majority of the games they lost thus far.
For the Capitals tonight executing these three keys is vital to a game six win…
(1) KEEP TAMPA OFF THE POWER PLAY! Hey Capitals the Lighting are good on the power play if you have not realized yet therefore you should probably not keep giving them chances on the man advantage. Stamkos in his office is probably going to score 10/10 times, Kucherov moving around put there with time and space is going to come back and bite you. If the Capitals can find a way to limit the Lighting’s power play chances they will be fine.
(2) Score first! Each of the last three games the Capitals have not scored and they have lost now three games in a row. When a team scores first this playoff year it has seemed to be almost a prerequisite for a win to come. The Capitals first two games they scored first and they won. Take a page out of the Golden Knights book they scored first in their last four wins over Winnipeg and they won the series. Scoring first is huge and especially for the Capitals at home here that would be a major momentum shiftier.
(3) Braden Holtby is going to be playing at some Marc Andre Fleury type level tonight. A good goalie will win you games this playoffs. Look at Vegas, look at Tampa Bay in game game four and five. Holtby is going to need to come up with not just his usual saves but he will need to be dialed in and making saves many of us have never seen before. Which is possible for Holtby, if the Capitals give him the support and eliminate turnovers in the gray areas of the ice Holtby will for sure make a save 99 percent of the time he sees the play happening or the puck. Don’t pull a Pekka Rinne here Holtby.
A look at what Vegas is saying…
The open line to start the day was Tampa Bay +110 and Washington -130 as the day went on and it is now 12:02 p.m. the line has not changed much but it did as Tampa is +105 and Washington is -125. This means that there really is no clear favorite the line is pretty close Washington is the favorite but by a small margin. Which is expected to see a line like this after Tampa won three straight and Washington is home so I think we all thought the line would be very even and no clear favorite would be seen. But the picks 44 percent Tampa and 56 percent Washington as of now. Thirteen other sites have lines similar as well having Tampa around +105 to the highest of +115 and Washington at -120 to the highest of -130. This is going to be a tough one, I would not lock anything in just yet. The line is going to change even more as the day goes on, so stay put.