The Carolina Hurricanes have pushed the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to the brink of elimination in the first round. Washington had a chance to close out the series on the road in Game 6, but the Hurricanes were able to get just enough offense to force a Game 7. Home teams have won all six games in this series so far, and the Capitals hope that the trend will continue in Washington. The winner of this series will move on to take on the New York Islanders in the second round.
Washington got off to a great start in this series by winning games 1 and 2 by a combined score of 8-5. The Capitals then looked like a complete mess on the road in losing games 3 and 4 and scoring just one goal in those two games. Washington is averaging close to five goals per game at home in this series, and their crowd will be rocking in this game. The Carolina Hurricanes are trying to stun the rest of the league by knocking out the Stanley Cup Champions. The Washington Capitals are -145 over the Carolina Hurricanes in this game.
Defense Leading Hurricanes Offense
The Carolina Hurricanes averaged under three goals per game in the regular season, but their defense has stepped up to generate some offense in the playoffs. Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin lead the team with six points against the Capitals. Left winger Warren Foegele has scored four goals already in this postseason, and the Hurricanes will need all three of these players to produce in this game. Carolina failed to put a puck in the back of the net in Game 5, and they are going to have to find a way to score on the road.
The Hurricanes allowed just 2.7 goals per game during the regular season, but their defense hasn’t been as sharp in the postseason. Goaltender Petr Mrazek has actually been pretty good throughout this series, but the Hurricanes haven’t given him much help. Mrazek has stopped 90 percent of the shots that he has faced, but that might not be good enough in Game 7. Look for the Hurricanes to try and slow this game down and steal it at the end.
Washington Knows How To Win
The Washington Capitals have been in this position a ton in the last few seasons, and they aren’t going to panic in the elimination game. Washington has looked almost unstoppable at home in this series, and their offense has been clicking. The Capitals averaged more than 3.5 goals per game this season, and their offense has improved in the playoffs. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin have each registered eight points in this series to lead the team. Washington has a roster full of veterans, and one of them will step up on Wednesday.
Goaltender Braden Holtby has a Stanley Cup on his resume, and he won’t be fazed by the bright lights of a seventh game. Holtby has stopped 92 percent of the shots that he has faced this series and recorded a shutout in Game 5. The Washington Capitals want to win games with their high-scoring offense, but Holtby can steal this one as well.
Capitals Advance to Second Round
Carolina has pushed the Capitals much harder than most thought in this series, but their run will come to an end in Game 7. Washington knows how to close out a series, and the Hurricanes haven’t shown the ability to win on the road. The Capitals are moving on to the second round. Bet the Washington Capitals -145 over the Carolina Hurricanes.
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