Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#89 Washington Capitals 5.5 vs.
#90 Carolina Hurricanes -120
Monday, April 22, 2019 at 7:08pm EDT
PNC Arena, Raleigh
Written by Chris Altruda

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Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes

When and Where: Monday, April 22, PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C., 7 p.m. EDT.

Having put together their best 60-minute effort of the series, the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals look to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals and eliminate the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 on Monday night.

Capitals out to finish off ‘Canes

Washington took out the frustrations of two poor games in Carolina and losing T.J. Oshie for the rest of the postseason by pounding the Hurricanes 6-0 on Saturday and grabbing a 3-2 series lead.

Nicklas Backstrom had two goals and two assists while Alex Ovechkin added a goal and two helpers, with his hustle to negate an icing setting up the goal by Brett Connolly that made it 3-0 late in the second period and essentially ended the game.

“Obviously they got on the point sheet, but their play away from the puck, on the forecheck, supporting each other, they’re real tough to play against when they play like that,” goaltender Braden Holtby told The Washington Post after making 30 saves for his seventh career playoff shutout. “I thought they’ve been doing a great job all playoffs, too. You can tell that they want to win, and the rest of the team will follow.”

The team confirmed Sunday that Oshie would miss the remainder of the postseason with the announcement he underwent surgery for a broken collarbone. Oshie, who had 25 goals in the regular season and two points in the postseason, suffered the injury in the final minutes of Game 4 after being pushed into the boards by Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele.

He is the second key cog to be ruled out for the postseason, with defenseman Michal Kempny sidelined with a torn hamstring suffered late in the regular season. Tom Wilson, bumped up to the first line to fill Oshie’s spot, had a goal and an assist in Game 5.

Backstrom and Ovechkin have accounted for eight of Washington’s 15 goals in this series and have combined for seven assists. Ovechkin has scored all three of his goals on the power play as the Capitals went 3 for 4 on the man advantage Saturday and are 6 for 19 in the series.

Washington went 4-0 in series closeout games last spring en route to the Stanley Cup title, winning all of them on the road. If the Capitals do win, they will face the New York Islanders in the conference semifinals.

‘Canes counting on home ice to help force Game 7

If there is a saving grace for the Hurricanes, it is coming back to a raucous PNC Arena, where they won Games 3 and 4. Carolina is 18-6-0 in its last 24 home games overall, but it will need to find answers from Saturday’s loss quickly to send this series back to the nation’s capital.

“To a man, I think everyone in the room needed a little more fight and a little more edge to our game,” Jordan Staal told the club’s official website. “We didn’t have that tonight, and it showed.”

In addition to their struggles killing penalties in Game 5, the Hurricanes failed to click on their power play. They went 0 for 5 — failing on three second-period opportunities — and are 3 for 20 in the series.

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour was non-committal on the availability of rookie Andrei Svechnikov for this contest. The 20-goal scorer sat out Game 5 after suffering a concussion in the first period of Game 4 after being knocked out by Ovechkin in a fight.

Petr Mrazek will try to bounce back from Saturday’s loss after letting up all six goals on 28 shots. He stopped 48 of 49 shots in Carolina’s two home wins and is 8-0-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average and .966 save percentage in his last eight home appearances, yielding just eight goals on 237 shots.

Before losing to Pittsburgh in the 2009 conference finals, the Hurricanes had won their previous five games when facing elimination. If Carolina does win, Game 7 will be Wednesday in Washington D.C.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The pick is for the Capitals to win this game outright and wrap up this series, hence the money line pick in comparison to the plus-1.5 goals at -270. While winning in Carolina will be difficult, Washington looked the part of Stanley Cup champion in Game 5, and more importantly, found a rhythm offensively instantaneously with Wilson on the first line replacing Oshie.

Prediction: Capitals (Even)

Full-Game Total Pick

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With the Hurricanes at home and facing elimination, the hedge is Mrazek will bring his “A” game into this contest. And with Holtby coming off a solid performance in notching his Game 5 shutout, this game likely will be similar to the tight, low-scoring Game 4 compared to a goalfest.

Prediction: UNDER 5.5 goals (-115)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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Picking the Capitals to win means picking them to get three goals to win this contest and snap out of their road funk in Raleigh. Another good full-game prop bet to have confidence selecting is Ovechkin OVER 4 shots at -140, a figure he should be able to clear on power-play chances alone if Washington get another couple of opportunities.

Prediction: Capitals OVER 2.5 goals (-150)

Half-Time Side Pick

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If you cannot pick a draw among your betting options, taking the ‘Canes and giving the half-goal at +170 is a better play than the straight money line of -120. Carolina has led in three of the four games at PNC Arena versus Washington including the regular season, and Mrazek will likely be sharp early in bouncing back from Game 5.

Prediction: Hurricanes -0.5 goals (+170)

Half-Time Total Bet

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The teams have played to one-goal first periods in the last three games, and given the stakes of this one, it would not be surprising to see a cautious start after the expected burst of adrenaline the Hurricanes will have to open the game. Mrazek made 18 saves in the first period of Games 3 and 4, while Holtby turned aside 22 of 24 shots.

Prediction: UNDER 1.5 goals (-125)

Half-Time Prop Prediction

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This is going against the grain as every game has seen a goal in the opening 10 minutes, with the goals in Games 3 and 5 coming with 17 and two seconds to spare, respectively. This is a hunch in Mrazek being strong early and Holtby continuing his play from Game 5.

Prediction: NO to goal in first 10 minutes (+120)
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Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is based in Chicago. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiner, he worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Follow Chris daily right here at W&W and on Twitter at @AlTruda73. You won’t be disappointed.