Washington Capitals (19-11-7) vs. Florida Panthers (17-10-9)
When: 04 Jan 2015, 21:00 CET
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
With two days to decompress after an incredible 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Winter Classic on Thursday, the Capitals head back into action on Sunday afternoon when they host they Florida Panthers at Verizon Center. Captain Alex Ovechkin collected a goal and an assist versus the Blackhawks and has scored six tallies and set up five others in the last 11 games.
The former Southeast Division rivals split their first two meetings this season, with the home team winning each game 2-1 in a shootout. The Caps have been playing well and getting points. They’ve gone 30 days without tasting consecutive defeats of any kind, regulation or otherwise. Washington is now 9-1-3 in its last 13 games, averaging more three goals per game in that stretch.
Recent Betting Trends:
Home team is 4-1 in the last 5 games;
Panthers are 7-20 in the last 27 meetings;
Under is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings in Washington.
The Panthers come into Sunday’s game in fifth place in the NHL’s Atlantic Division and just two points in arrears of Washington among the teams scrambling for the two Eastern Conference wild card playoff berths. They’re 6-2-2 in their last 10. On Friday night in Buffalo, the Panthers started off a season-high six-game road trip with a 2-0 win over the Sabres. Cats goaltender Roberto Luongo made 30 saves to record his second shutout of the season – both against the Sabres in Buffalo – and the 68th of his NHL career. Luongo was in net for the shootout win over Washington and is 15-1-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average in his last 16 matchups with the Capitals, including five consecutive wins. He's 6-1-1 with a 1.79 GAA in his last eight overall games and has earned four of those victories in shootouts. Coach Gerard Gallant isn't interested in hearing that Florida has dropped 12 of its last 13 visits to Washington. But, Gallant has a problem with injuries in roster, questionable are Eric Gudbranson (35 games, 1+4), Tomas Kopecky (33 games, 1+5) and Tomas Fleischmann (31 games, 4+5).
The Capitals are aware that NY Rangers are right after them in the Eastern Conference; therefore gaining two clear points would be a gig advantage. The Panthers, on the other hand, know they can rely on their goaltending so can purely focus on offense which is the Panthers achilles heel sometimes. Final game prediction, Washington will beat Florida.
21:00, Washington-Florida, pick: under 5,5 goals, @1.72, Bwin