Game Time: 7:00 pm ET, Saturday, October 16, 2021
Venue: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
Where to Watch: ESPN+
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Moneyline: Lightning -130, Capitals +105; Over/Under: NL goals
Bet365: Moneyline: Lightning -130, Capitals +110; Over/Under: 6.5 goals
BetMGM: Moneyline: Lightning -125, Capitals +105; Over/Under: 6.5 goals
Tampa Bay Lightning: 1-1-0 (5th place, Atlantic Division)
Washington Capitals: 1-0-0 (3rd place, Metropolitan Division)
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Tampa Bay Lightning vs Washington Capitals Preview and Analysis
Tampa Bay Lightning: won on the road on Oct. 14 against the Detroit Red Wings in overtime 7-6.
Washington Capitals: won at home on Oct. 13 against the New York Rangers 5-1.
Tampa Bay Lightning Analysis
The Lightning are coming into this game with 2 points and a 1-1-0 record to start their regular season. They lost their season opener at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the very first game of the season in the NHL. They followed that up with a 7-6 win in OT over the Red Wings in a game that they were trailing 6-3 in the 3rd period. Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov both led the team in points with 4 each in that game. Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat both led the team in goals with 2 each in that game while Kucherov, Ross Colton, and Alex Killorn all had 1 goal each. Hedman led the team in assists with 4 while Kucherov had 3 assists in that game. Mikhail Sergachev also had 2 assists himself while Stamkos, Erik Cernak, Anthony Cirelli, and Brayden Point all had 1 assist. Kucherov led the team in shots on goal with 8 in that game. Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 6 goals on 26 shots with 20 saves and a .769 save percentage in that one. The Lightnings' offense has scored 9 goals in their first 2 games averaging 4.5 GPG while their defense has allowed 12 goals in that same span allowing 6 goals in each game they have played this season. The Lightning have always been known for being a high scoring team with a potent offense in recent years but they cannot win games all the time by outscoring their opponent. They will need to start tightening up on defense and their goaltending will need to be better as well.
Washington Capitals Analysis
The Capitals are coming into this game with 2 points and a 1-0-0 record to start the season off. They won their first game of the season against the Rangers 5-1 last Wednesday night in a game they took control of right at the start and never gave that control back coming away with a massive win. Alexander Ovechkin led the team in points in that game with 4. He also led the team in goals with 2 while T.J. Oshie, Hendrix Lapierre, and Justin Schultz all found the back of the net as well with 1 goal each. Evgeny Kuznetsov led the team in assists with 3 in that game while Ovechkin had 2 himself as well. Oshie, John Carlson, Anthony Mantha, Conor Sheary, and Trevor van Riemsdyk all had 1 assist each in that one. Schultz led the team in shots on goal with 6. Vitek Vanecek was the starting goalie for them in that game and he allowed 1 goal on 24 shots with 23 saves and a .958 save percentage. The Capitals last played a game on Wednesday so they will be nice and rested coming into this one. The Lightning are a lot better than the Rangers are though, so they will need to be playing their best hockey to win this game.
Lightning vs Capitals Prediction
The NHL odds for the moneyline in this game is set at a pick 'em currently. The Capitals have more rest than the Lightning coming into this game and are coming off of a big blowout win. The Lightning are the much better team though and have more talent on their side, despite their slow start to the season. The Lightning are still the defending Stanley Cup Champions and they showed why in their last game when they came back from a 3 goal deficit late in the third period and then won the game in overtime. The Lightning are just too good a team and have too much talent to be getting this kind of short line on them. The best bet for bettors to place in this game is on the Lightning to win as they are starting to look like that same team that won the Cup last season.
Lightning Capitals Prediction: Our NHL Pick for Saturday, October 16, 2021 (7:00 pm ET start time) is Lightning 6 Capitals 3.
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NHL Betting Trends
Tampa Bay Lightning: 21-19 (-6.7 units) ATS in a road game where where the total is 6 or more. 47-40 (-18.5 units) ATS after one or more consecutive overs.
Washington Capitals: 27-20 (-7 units) ATS in a home game where the total is 6 or more. 13-11 (-4.3 units) when playing with 2 days rest.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Z. Bogosian (D) Early Dec - Lower Body injury. C. Foote (D) Mid Nov - Finger injury.
Washington Capitals: A. Ovechkin (LW) Ques Sat - Leg injury. N. Backstrom (C) Out indefinitely - Hip injury.
Players to Watch
Tampa Bay Lightning: Victor Hedman is one player to watch in this matchup. He leads his team in points and assists through 2 games this season. He was a big reason why they made that comeback against Detroit so look for him to make some good passes here and set his teammates up once again.
Washington Capitals: Alexander Ovechkin is one player to watch in this contest. He leads his team in points and in goals scored this season. He is their captain and a veteran Stanley Cup winner so look for him to lead his team here in what will be a very tough team for them to beat.
“There’s a little bit of a winning pedigree in that locker room and, they’ve shown that fight before. It’s just sort game, especially after our performance on opening night, that it was paramount that we’ve had to come away with points in this game.” - Jon Cooper on his team’s comeback down 6-3 to win the game against the Red Wings.
“I told him before, ‘Just shoot the puck.' He’s a talented kid, fun to watch and obviously I hope he’s gonna have a great future.” - Alex Ovechkin on Hendrix Lapierre’s NHL debut in their last game against the Rangers.
Tampa Bay Lightning
LW Palat, Ondrej
C Point, Brayden
RW Kucherov, Nikita
LD Hedman, Victor
RD Rutta, Jan
G Vasilevskiy, Andrei
LW Ovechkin, Alex
C Kuznetsov, Evgeny
RW Wilson, Tom
LD Fehérváry, Martin
RD Carlson, John
G Vanecek, Vitek
Tampa Bay Lightning
Points: V.Hedman (5)
Goals: S.Stamkos (2)
Assists: V.Hedman (5)
GAA: A.Vasilevskiy (4.50)
Points: A.Ovechkin (4)
Goals: A.Ovechkin (2)
Assists: E.Kuznetsov (3)
GAA: V.Vanecek (1.00)
Tampa Bay Lightning: Jon Cooper (10th season)
Washington Capitals: Peter Laviolette (2nd season)