Home ice wasn’t much of an advantage through the first four games of the Eastern Conference final – but things returned to normal in Games 5 and 6, and that bodes well for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they take on the visiting Washington Capitals in Game 7 on Wednesday night. The Capitals scored 3 goals in their shutout win in Game 6.
Capitals vs Lightning Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Analysis
Tampa Bay is a strong favourite in this one after reeling off three consecutive victories after falling behind 0-2; the Lightning have been a solid bounce-back team, winning four straight games following a loss of three or more goals while going 6-1 in their last seven after scoring two or fewer times in their previous game. But the Capitals will be a worthy opponent, having won 14 of their previous 17 games away from the U.S. capital.
With the previous two games going below that pesky total of six, oddsmakers are giving bettors a break with a Game 7 number at 5.5. Yet, despite the teams’ increased defensive focus and the fact that Game 7s tend to be lower-scoring affairs, bettors should be aware that the only two Game 7s to have taken place so far this postseason produced a whopping 17 goals. And the teams have combined to go 12-4-1 O/U in their last 17 meetings at Amalie Arena.
The Caps probably deserve a better fate given the wide shot disparity, but none of that matters heading into Wednesday night – and fortunately for Washington, neither does its record in Game 7s. The Capitals are just 4-11 all-time, and have won just one of their last five seventh games dating back to May 2012. Their .267 overall win rate in Game 7s is the worst of any team that has appeared in at least 10 such games.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning know a thing or two about closing out tight series, coming into Wednesday’s action with a 5-2 record all-time in Game 7s. But to improve on that mark, they might want to consider taking more shots on goal; they’ve been outshot in all six games so far in the series, surrendering an average of 34.8 while taking an average of 24.2. In fact, the Lightning have taken more than 25 shots in just one of the first six games.