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Capitals vs. Panthers Game 2 prediction, odds

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The Washington Capitals pulled off the largest upset of the NHL postseason thus far, defeating the Florida Panthers, 4-2, as +200 underdogs on Tuesday night.

While Washington’s victory caught the hockey world off-guard, it was no fluke. The Capitals earned every little bit of their 1-0 series lead by executing a pitch-perfect game plan to decelerate the Panthers after which hit back on the counter. At the tip of the sport, the Caps held a 4.11 to 2.21 expected goals edge and created two more high-danger scoring possibilities than the Cats at 5-on-5. Most significantly, they kept Florida’s vaunted offense to only seven high-danger scoring possibilities on the night at 5-on-5. The Panthers led the league in that category throughout the regular season.

Florida still stays a strong -180 favorite to win the series, but there are many reasons to imagine that what Washington pulled off on Tuesday night is a replicable strategy.

Capitals vs. Panthers Game 2 odds

Odds provided by PointsBet

Spread: WAS +1.5 (-121) vs. Panthers -1.5 (+100)

Moneyline: WAS (+210) vs. Panthers (-261)

Spread: Over 6.5 (-136) | Under 6.5 (+115)

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Capitals vs. Panthers Game 2 prediction

To begin with, the Caps were the most effective road teams within the NHL throughout the regular season. Their absorb-and-counter style is conducive to playing “road game.” Washington doesn’t have the depth to get right into a track meet with the Panthers, but for those who can keep the Panthers close by deep into the competition and capitalize on a mistake from their high-risk style, you give yourselves a probability. Washington showed that in Game 1.

The Capitals also did an important job of isolating goaltender Vitek Vanecek. The 26-year-old netminder didn’t look all that settled on Tuesday night, but Washington did all the pieces it could to limit possibilities off the push and the slot. Keeping Florida off the board is simply too tall of an ask, but for those who can force the Cats to accept low-quality shots for essentially the most part and protect the home you then set your goalie up for achievement. 

Capitals vs. Panthers Game 2 prediction and oddsWashington CapitalsGetty Images

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Oftentimes within the NHL Playoffs, we’ll see bookmakers adjust numbers based on a “must-win” narrative. It’s hard to fathom the Presidents’ Trophy winners happening 0-2 in the primary round, so it’s quite possible that the Capitals close at the next price than they did for Game 1.

Washington has already proven that it could hang with the Panthers, so don’t be afraid to back the Caps at an enormous number on Thursday night.

Capitals vs. Panthers Game 2 prediction: Washington Capitals +205 (FanDuel)

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