The battle to the playoffs continues as the Florida Panthers face off with the washington capitals at the Verizon Center. Come to D.C. with us as we share our NHL odds series, make a Panthers-Capitals prediction and pick while sharing how to watch.

The Panthers are coming off a 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Initially, it was a close game as they trailed 1-0 entering the second period. But things got out of hand when they allowed two goals in that period and then collapsed in the third to finish off the defeat. Significantly, they went 0 for 2 on the powerplay and 1 for 2 on the penalty kill. The Panthers only blocked nine shots.

The Capitals fell 3-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes. Unfortunately, it was the beginning of a stretch without Alexander Ovechkin, who is taking a leave of absence due to the death of his father. The Caps rallied twice to tie the game after falling behind. Consequently, they gave up the eventual game-winner in the second period to Stefan Noeson on a powerplay tally. Darcy Kuemper made 27 saves but did not have the goal support to win. Additionally, the Caps went 0 for 3 on the powerplay without Ovechkin and lost despite winning 59 percent of their faceoffs.

The Panthers enter this showdown with a record of 27-24-6. Additionally, they are 12-16-3 on the road. The Panthers are 5-4-1 over their past 10 games. Meanwhile, the Capitals are 28-22-6 coming into this match. The Caps are 14-10-3 at the Verizon Center. Washington is also 4-6 over its last 10 games. Significantly, the Panthers trail the Capitals by two points in the race for the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Panthers defeated the Capitals 5-2 at FLA Live Arena in the only matchup between the teams this season. Ultimately, the Panthers have won seven of the past 10 against the Capitals.

Here are the Panthers-Capitals NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NHL Odds: Panthers-Capitals Odds

Florida Panthers: -1.5 (-210) ML (-110)

Washington Capitals: +1.5 (-265) ML (-110)

Over: 6.5 (+100)

Under: 6.5 (-122)

How To Watch Panthers vs. Capitals


Stream: NHL

Time: 7 PM ET/4 PM PT

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Why The Panthers Could Cover The Spread

The Panthers have struggled all season to stay afloat. Unfortunately, they have not generated any consistent winning streaks despite an explosive offense. But they are still in the race and can jump over the Caps in the standings.

Matthew Tkachuk has 27 goals and 46 assists, with 10 powerplay tallies. Meanwhile, Alexander Barkov has 15 goals and 33 assists, with seven powerplay conversions. Carter Verhaeghe has 28 goals and 19 assists, with six tallies on the powerplay. Also, defenseman Brandon Montour has 10 goals and 34 assists, with three powerplay snipes. These four help an offense that ranks second in goals, 20th in shooting percentage, and 15th on the powerplay.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is 15-14-2 with a goals-against average of 3.05, and a save percentage of .900. Substantially, he backstops a struggling defense that ranks 27th in goals allowed and 22nd on the penalty kill. The Panthers allow too many goals and struggle to keep the other team off the stat sheet. Therefore, they must clamp down on defense and prevent the Capitals from gaining any chances.

The Panthers will cover the spread if they can score early and sustain a lead. Significantly, Florida plays better with a lead.

Why The Capitals Could Cover The Spread

The Capitals are 0-2 without Ovechkin this season. Overall, they are 10-8-2 without Ovechkin since the 2017-2018 season. But the Capitals had better players five years ago than they do today. Therefore, it will be more difficult to win this one without their top sniper.

Evgeny Kuznetsov has eight goals and 36 assists, with four powerplay tallies. Ultimately, the Caps need him to double down on his production and lead the Caps to victory. Dylan Strome is another option, with 11 goals and 25 assists. Likewise, Washington needs him to showcase what he is capable of. These two, along with the missing Ovechkin, lead a Washington team that ranks 17th in goals, 18th in shooting percentage, and 20th on the powerplay.

Kuemper likely leads the Caps in the net today. Significantly, he is 16-15-4 with a goals-against average of 2.59 with a save percentage of .915. Kuemper defends a defense that is 14th in goals allowed and seventh on the penalty kill. The Caps will need to defend their net well and win a low-scoring game.

The Capitals will cover the spread if they can convert on their chances. Likewise, they must not take penalties.

Final Panthers-Capitals Prediction & Pick

The odds are lopsided for both options. Therefore, I am taking the mainline, and the Panthers, to win on the road against a Capitals team without Ovechkin.

Final Panthers-Capitals Prediction & Pick: Florida Panthers ML (-110)