Both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals will look to snap two-game losing streaks when they meet tonight at Capital One Arena.
Tampa has taken both meetings this season while the Capitals have been outscored 11-2 in their two previous games coming into tonight.
Can John Cooper rally the defending champions after getting embarrassed by the Maple Leafs? Can the Capitals gear up for the postseason and improve on their 1-4 SU home record over their last five on home ice?
Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Lightning vs. Capitals.
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Lightning vs Capitals odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Lightning opened as -140 road favorites and the ML market hasn’t moved much as of Wednesday morning. The total opened at 6 and has hit 6.5 at some books. The Bolts closed as -135 home favorites in the last meeting in early November.
Lightning vs Capitals predictions
Predictions made on 4/06/2022 at 10:05 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Lightning vs Capitals game info
• Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
• Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2022
• Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: TNT
Lightning vs Capitals betting preview
Lightning: Ryan McDonagh D (Out).
Capitals: Carl Hagelin F (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Lightning vs Capitals head-to-head record since 2019-20
Lightning: 5-4 SU, 28 goals for.
Capitals: 4-5 SU, 29 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 5-0 in the Capitals’ last five games as an underdog. Find more NHL betting trends for Lightning vs. Capitals.
Lightning vs Capitals picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Bolts have dropped two straight games including that 6-2 loss to the Leafs on Monday. They enter tonight’s game 4-5 SU in their last nine games and are starting to lose ground in the Atlantic Division to the Leafs and Bruins.
Four of their last five losses, however, were against playoff teams (TOR, BOS, CAR, and NYR). Washington doesn’t come into this game in the best of form either (2-4 SU in last six) but are the books not giving enough respect to the home team tonight who sit as +120 underdogs?
The Capitals appear locked into the East’s eighth spot and will likely have to play the Panthers, but they have the seventh-best point percentage since March 1 with a 9-4-1 SU record and have played the fewest games out of every team in the league over that stretch.
They’re scoring at a Top-10 rate and have both a Top-4 power play and penalty kill. The offense has managed just two goals in as many games but the Wild and Hurricanes are two of the hardest teams to score on of late. The same cannot be said about the Lightning.
Tampa will be without defenseman Ryan McDonagh again today and his absence was glaring versus the Maple Leafs who scored six times at even strength versus the Bolts in Tampa. McDonagh has missed six games and the Bolts have given up 16 goals over their last four.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was saddled for all six goals on Monday but should get the call tonight versus the divisional opponents. Over his last 19 starts, he’s been anything but Vezina-caliber and owns an 11-8 SU record with a 2.81 GAA and a .909 SV%. He’s allowed at least three goals in four of his last six games and has dropped five of his last eight games away from home.
Vitek Vanecek has dropped four of his last five starts and could give way to Ilya Samsonov but neither goalie comes in hot and both tenders have been getting bailed out by the offense that was scoring at will before running into the Hurricanes and Wild.
From February 28 to March 26, Washington was scoring 3.50 goals per game and had no trouble winning one-goal games as six of their nine wins over that stretch were of the one-goal variety.
The Capitals are running Alex Ovechkin with center Nicklas Backstrom again while T.J. Oshie is playing on the wing with Evgeni Kuznetzov. Both lines have been producing well of late while John Carlson has also been contributing. Tom Wilson is playing on the third line which gives this team a ton of scoring depth. Carlson, Ovechkin and Kuznetsov have a combined 25 power-play points over their last 16 games as well.
Tampa is 1-6 SU in its last seven road games as -145 favorites or shorter while the Caps have been a home dog just seven times this season and are 4-3 SU. Washington was +105 at home versus the Avalanche, -101 at home versus the Panthers, -113 at home versus the Bruins and +109 at home versus the Canes. This +120 line is too long.
Prediction: Capitals ML (+120 at bet365)
The total market opened at 6 and is starting to show up as 6.5 at some books. We can understand why the market is moving that way and are jumping on the steam train ourselves.
The Capitals have been winning of late, but as we mentioned above, it’s not because of their goaltending. Over the last 30 days. Vanecek has a 3.42 GAA with a sub-.900 save percentage. Samsonov hasn’t been much better either with a 3.13 GAA and a weak .876 SV%.
Washington has been forced to score if they want to win and face a Tampa team that gave up six 5-on-5 goals to the Leafs on Monday and five goals to the Canadiens on Saturday. Vasilevskiy is 6-6 SU over his last 12 starts (30 days) and has a 2.85 GAA.
Because of the recent play of the Tampa goaltending, the Bolts are 4-0 to the Over in their last four and the offense gets to tee off on some poor goaltending. The Bolts have also scored multi-power-play goals in four of their last 10 games as Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, and Victor Hedan are about as hard as a quartet to stop in the league.
The Capitals have also been one of the best Over teams of late heading into tonight. They’re an incredible 11-2 to the Over across their last 13 games and have been seeing a closing total of 6.5 more often than 6 lately.
The goaltending is an issue, the power play is scoring, and the depth they have offensively is tough to match up against, especially at home with the last change. Having Oshie in the lineup makes this team exponentially more dangerous offensively as the veteran winger is just getting his feet back after another stint on the shelf.
Both teams have high-end scoring, elite power plays, and sports goaltending that comes into tonight in poor form. Sign us up for the Over 6 which we’d still hit at 6.5.
Prediction: Over 6 (-130 at bet365)
The market movement is helping make this decision easier for us and that’s with the Over. Combined these two teams are 8-2 to the Over in their last five games.
We don’t trust either goalie in Washington to keep this one close but the Washington offense — and power play — can keep up with the Bolts and give their goalie some goal support which they’re used to over the last 30 days. The absence of McDonagh hurts the Bolts on the backend, as well.
Both teams have sour tastes in their mouths with a pair of two-game losing streaks. Tampa got spanked by the Leafs on Monday while the Caps got torched by the Wild on Sunday. Both clubs should be focused and bring their A-game tonight.
Pick: Over 6 (-130 at bet365)
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