- What: 2022-23 NHL regular season – Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers
- When: Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. EST
- Where: FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida
We’re a month into the 2022-23 NHL season, and Tuesday night will treat us to an intriguing Eastern Conference matchup. The reigning Presidents Trophy winners, the Florida Panthers, are set to host the Washington Capitals in a rematch of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup from last season.
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Capitals vs. Panthers Odds
|Puck Line||Money Line||Spread|
|Washington Capitals||+1.5 (-160)||+165||O6.5 (-120)|
|Florida Panthers||-1.5 (+135)||-195||U6.5 (+100)|
Heading into Tuesday evening’s matchup, the Panthers are heavily favored over the Capitals on their home ice. Coming in at (-195) favorites to win the match, Florida is expected to take care of the Capitals (+165) without much of a hitch. The books anticipate it will be a close game, with the puck line of +1.5 set at (-165) for the Capitals. Additionally, the over/under for total goals is placed at 6.5, though the odds (-120) slightly lean toward the over.
Why the Capitals can win
The Capitals haven’t gotten off to a great start in the 2022-23 NHL season, earning 16 points across their first 17 games. The team has seven wins, eight losses, and two overtime losses. Washington has been plagued by inconsistency early on this year, and is also dealing with the absence of multiple veteran players due to injury, including Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, TJ Oshie, and Connor Brown.
In their recent run of games, the Capitals split a two-game set against the Tampa Bay Lightning, while also picking up a win over the Edmonton Oilers, but losses against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, and Arizona Coyotes. The defense has been an issue of late. While they held the Lightning to just one goal on Friday, Tampa bombarded them for six goals during their rematch on Sunday.
It was the sixth time this season that the Capitals have surrendered four or more goals. Across 17 games, Washington has conceded 53 goals while scoring 49 goals themselves. They have the second most goals surrendered in the Eastern Conference, only bested by the Columbus Blue Jackets (61 GA).
Alex Ovechkin has been solid this season, registering 14 points in 17 games. With eight goals and six assists, it’s only a matter of time until Ovechkin snaps into a hot streak and helps get the rest of the Capitals’ offense going. Historically, Ovechkin has had plenty of success against the Panthers, with 88 points in 68 career games, including 43 goals. If Ovi can beat Sergei Bobrovsky in the net early on, he could swing the momentum in their favor.
Why the Panthers can win
The Panthers have not gotten off to the fast start they did in 2021-22 this year. After acquiring Matthew Tkachuk in the blockbuster Jonathan Huberdeau trade this offseason, Florida has started the new campaign with 17 points in 15 games. Florida has won eight matches, lost six, and has one overtime loss on the year. Tkachuk, who just returned from a two-game suspension, has 17 points in his first 13 games in Florida, adapting quickly to his new environment.
The Panthers’ offense has been strong throughout the first quarter of the year, scoring an average of 3.2 goals per game. Led by Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov, Sam Bennett, and more, the Panthers will need to pick up their pace if they want to repeat as regular-season champs. With 48 goals for and 46 goals allowed, Florida will be hoping for more from their defense in the coming weeks. After getting Aaron Ekblad back from injury, it could be the start of a turnaround for the Panthers’ defense.
The Panthers have split their past nine games 4-5; however, apart from a shutout win over the Hurricanes, they’ve had some worrying defensive performances. The Panthers have conceded three or more goals in eight of their last nine games. Offensively, however, they’ve scored two or more goals in all but one of those contests. In other words, Florida is getting itself into some shootouts, having taken part in several high-scoring affairs in the month of November.
Up against a subpar Capitals defense, Florida’s offense has the potential to take over. While the Capitals will have John Carlson back from injury, they’re still conceding far too many goals this year. If Florida’s power play can find its rhythm against the Capitals, they could blow this game open in a hurry.
This game figures to be a high-scoring affair between two strong offenses and weak defenses. With the Panthers’ Money Line juiced at (-195), taking the over on the game’s total goals at 6.5 feels like a safe bet. The Panthers have seen five of their last eight games go over 6.5 total goals, while the Capitals have seen that mark hit in two of their last four, including two nine-goal games. Because of their defensive inefficiencies, we’re going to back the offenses and roll with Over 6.5 Total Goals as the pick.
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