NHL Pick: Capitals vs Hurricanes Game 5

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As of Friday morning, two NHL teams have advanced to Round 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: the Columbus Blue Jackets and the New York Islanders. The Colorado Avalanche hope to join them Friday night, as the West’s last team in looks to knock off the top-seeded Calgary Flames in Game 5 of their series. The only No. 1 seed to not trail to this point in a Round 1 series is the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals.

They’ll try to avoid going down (3-2) on Saturday night, when the Caps host the Carolina Hurricanes for Game 5. The Capitals are listed at -1½, +200, with the Hurricanes at +1½, -240 (listings at SportsBetting.ag).

Washington won the Metropolitan Division crown in the 2018-19 season, locking up a top seed and a matchup with a Wild Card team in Round 1. While the East’s other Wild Card team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, made quick work of the top team in the NHL in their series, the Capitals got off to a strong start against Carolina. In Game 1, Washington scored three goals in the first period, winning 4-2. In Game 2, the Caps got an Overtime winner from defenseman Brooks Orpik to make it a (2-0) series lead. Then the games shifted to Raleigh, North Carolina, and the momentum changed with it.

Carolina was relentless in Game 3, holding the Capitals to just 18 shots on goal and peppering goalie Braden Holtby with 45 shots of their own to pick up a 5-0 win. Statement made. In Game 4, Washington managed to out-shoot Carolina, but a goal from Warren Foegele just 17 seconds into the contest helped get the Hurricanes a 2-1 win, as Carolina evened the series.

Washington went (24-11-6) at home during the regular season and, to this point in the series, the home team is (4-0) overall. To this point in the series, the home team has never even so much as trailed for a single second of game time. During the Regular Season, the Capitals went (4-0) against the Canes, winning each of their meetings in the Capital One Arena by at least two goals.

I believe that the home team’s four-game winning streak in this series continues for Game 5, and with the payout odds given to Washington – coupled with the Capitals winning 75% of home games against Carolina by two goals or more – I’m taking the Capitals -1½ for this game. If you’d rather not risk a nail-biter resulting in a lost wager, the Money Line for Saturday’s game has Washington -133 and Carolina +120. But at -133 on a straight bet, 1½ goals at a +200 payout would be too enticing for me to pass up.

Prediction: Capitals 4, Hurricanes 1
Drew Goldfarb

Drew has been covering sports professionally since 2007, covering sports of all kinds in the ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Conference USA. In addition to covering college sports, he also spent two seasons working with the NHL's Florida Panthers as part of their TV broadcast team, as well as reporting and anchoring for AT&T SportsNet and FOX Sports affiliates, CBS Sports Network and ESPNU. Drew has also ...

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