Apr 26, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
- The Florida Panthers take on the Washington Capitals in the fist round of the NHL playoffs
- The Panthers have emerged as heavy -355 favorites in the NHL playoff series prices
- Below, see the Capitals vs Panthers series odds, preview, and prediction
Two teams looking to end lengthy postseason swoons will clash in Eastern Conference first round playoff action when the Florida Panthers host the Washington on Tuesday in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series.
The Panthers topped the NHL standings this season, racking up a franchise record 58 wins and 122 points, but have not claimed a playoff series win since reaching the Stanley Cup Final back in 1996. The Capitals return to the postseason for an eighth straight year after compiling 44 wins and 100 points to claim the second wild card in the East. However, Washington has failed to advance past the first round since their Stanley Cup championship win four years ago.
The Panthers enter the season perched as heavy -355 favorites in the NHL playoff series prices, while the Capitals lag as distant +270 underdogs.
Panthers vs Capitals Series Odds
Odds as of May 1st at FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Panthers’ short -355 odds on the series price translate to a 78.02% implied probability of knocking off Washington. Conversely, the Capitals +270 odds translate to an implied probability of just 27.03%.
Florida enters the postseason perched as +300 favorite in the Eastern Conference odds, and also trails only Colorado as a +550 bet in the 2022 Stanley Cup odds. Conversely, the Capitals sit well off the pace as +1400 longshots to win the East, and a distant +3000 wager in the Stanley Cup futures.
Series Schedule and How to Watch
This first round best-of-seven series gets underway on Tuesday night in Florida. In the United States, games will be broadcast on ESPM, ESPN2, and TBS, while Canadian viewers can tune into Sportsnet for all the action.
Panthers vs Capitals Series Schedule
|Date||Game||Location||Start Time (ET)||Broadcast Networks|
|Tuesday, May 3||Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers||FLA Live Arena||7:30pm||ESPN2, SN360|
|Thursday, May 5||Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers||FLA Live Arena||7:30pm||TBS, SN360|
|Saturday, May 7||Florida Panthers at Washington Capitals||Capital One Arena||1:00pm||ESPN, SN|
|Monday, May 9||Florida Panthers at Washington Capitals||Capital One Arena||7:00pm||TBS, SN1|
|*Wednesday, May 11||Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers||FLA Live Arena||TBD||TBD|
|*Friday, May 13||Florida Panthers at Washington Capitals||Capital One Arena||TBD||TBD|
|*Sunday, May 15||Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers||FLA Live Arena||TBD||TBD|
If you want the full NHL Playoff schedule, you can get a printable NHL playoff bracket.
Florida Heavily Favored in Series with Capitals
Winners in their first eight games of the season, the Panthers never looked back during their march to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Indeed, the club seemed to improve as the season progressed, with a brief three-game slide in February marking the only time they dropped consecutive games after Christmas until losing three of four meaningless contests to close out their schedule.
Jonathan Huberdeau will end his season
30 goals – tie career high
85 assists – sets franchise record, most assists by LW in NHL history 3rd most – by a winger NHL history
115 points franchise record#FlaPanthers pic.twitter.com/JxUi017IPx
— Steve Goldstein (@goldieonice) April 29, 2022
One of four 30-goal scorers on the club’s roster this season, Jonathan Huberdeau led the Panthers attack, racking up 30 goals and 115 points. Huberdeau’s performance has earned him consideration in the Hart Trophy odds. Overall, Florida was tops in the league with 4.11 goals scored per game. The club also topped the Capitals in two of their three meetings this season, with each of those contests getting settled by a single goal.
— NHL (@NHL) May 21, 2021
The Panthers enjoy good health, but face a massive challenge to flip the script after getting bounced from the opening round of the playoffs in six appearances since 1996, winning just eight of 27 contests.
Panthers vs Capitals Head-to-Head Stats
|58-18-6||NHL Regular Season Record||44-26-12|
|4.11 (1st)||Goals For/GP||3.29 (10th)|
|2.95 (T-12th)||Goals Against/GP||2.95 (T-12th)|
|24.4% (5th)||Power Play||18.8% (23rd)|
|79.5% (16th)||Penalty Kill||80.4% (12th)|
Can Capitals Pull Off the Upset?
Washington also has business of its own to attend to. Since raising the Stanley Cup in 2018, the Capitals have tallied just five total wins in three first round playoff appearances.
#ALLCAPS Alex Ovechkin back to work from his office
Ovi returned to practice today and took reps alongside Kuznetsov and Sheary on No.1 line
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) May 1, 2022
Further complicating matters for the Caps is the uncertain status of superstar Alex Ovechkin. “Great 8” was sidelined for the final three games of the regular season with an upper body injury. It would be a massive blow to the Capitals if Ovechkin is unable to go. The Capitals captain tallied 50 goals this season for the ninth time in his career, and has tallied seven goals and 12 points over his past seven appearances versus Florida.
Panthers vs Capitals Series Pick
While this series would appear to be somewhat of a mismatch on paper, it is tough to underestimate Florida’s ability to melt down in playoff action. While scoring should not be a problem for the Panthers, they must find a way to contain a Capitals attack that scored four times in each of their three meetings. Look for the Panthers to claim the series win, but it will be far from the cakewalk so many expect.
The Pick: Washington Capitals +2.5 (-168)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.