Lightning Host Capitals as Game 5 Betting Favorite on Home Ice

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An overwhelming over trend might be the lone certainty in an NHL semifinal series where the away team has won every game.

The Lightning are a -170 home-ice favorite with the Washington Capitals coming back at +150 and there is a six-goal total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final on Saturday night. The series is tied 2-2.

The total has gone over in 16 of Tampa Bay’s last 20 home games against Metropolitan Division teams, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, while Washington is 11-2 in its last 13 away games during the playoffs. Tampa Bay is 7-3 in its last 10 home games.

Washington, which is also 16-4 in its last 20 away games (playoffs and regular season) against Atlantic Division teams, was snakebitten in the two most recent games of the series. The Capitals, led offensively by Alex Ovechkin, outshot the Lightning by a combined 76-43 in Games 3 and 4, but were stonewalled by Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

More often than not, the team generating more shot attempts and shots on goal eventually prevails in hockey. The Capitals will also have a key cog, center Nicklas Backstrom, in his second game back from an injury.

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby has a 2.24 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in the playoffs. Neither starting goalie has had a shutout in the postseason, which is another reason to think there will be some numbers put on the board at Amalie Arena.

Tampa Bay, which is 7-3 in its last 10 home games during the playoffs as a moneyline favorite of -150 to -500 on the NHL betting lines, has stayed in the series thanks to a lethal power play. With center Steven Stamkos and right wing Nikita Kucherov thriving on being teed up by their teammates, Tampa Bay has scored six of its 12 goals in the series on the power play.

The shots on goal discrepancy in Game 4 could be attributable to a string of the penalties that left the Lightning in a defensive mode for long stretches, particularly a 20-minute stretch where it failed to record an official shot. It’s plausible that Tampa Bay, the highest-scoring team in the NHL in the regular season, will break out at some point.

Vasilevskiy has a 2.63 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in the playoffs.

While everyone loves an overtime game, puckline bets have been a solid play recently. Fifteen of the last 17 NHL playoff games have been decided by more than one goal, although two of the past three required an empty-net goal in the final seconds of the game.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

 

How to watch Boston Bruins vs NY Rangers: Live stream, TV channel, puck drop time for tonight’s game

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It’s the Bruins vs Rangers tonight on NBCSN. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. ET. Live coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. with NHL Live. See below for additional information on how to watch the game. Click here for the latest stats, scores, and division standings.

The Boston Bruins (8-1-2) currently lead the East division after sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers last week (Feb. 3 and Feb. 5). David Pastrnak has helped the Bruins climb to the top spot since returning to the lineup on January 30, after undergoing a right hip arthroscopy and labral repair on Sept. 16. The Bruins’ forward already has 5 goals and 3 assists in the 4 games he’s played in this season, making him third on the team in goals scored behind Brad Marchand (7 goals) and Patrice Bergeron (6 goals).

The New York Rangers (4-5-2) are coming off a 2-0 loss to the Islanders on Monday night. The Rangers made 30 shots on goal but just could not get past Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov. Artemi Panarin currently leads the team in goals (5), points (15), and assists (10). Mika Zibanejad, who led the team with 41 goals last season, is still struggling to find the back of the net. The Rangers forward has just one goal on the season and one assist in his last eight games.

                                 RELATED: Rangers’ rebuild — Good, bad, and the Lafreniere

Tonight will be the first of eight meetings between the Bruins and Rangers this season and will mark the 700th all-time meeting since these Original Six rivals first played against each other in 1926. Watch live online or with the NBC Sports App.

How to watch Boston Bruins vs New York Rangers:

              RELATED: 2021 NHL Season: How to watch, new format, key dates, and schedule

Be sure to check out ProHockeyTalk for more on the 2021 NHL season including game previews, recaps, news, rumors and more. Click here for the 2020-2021 NHL on NBC regular season schedule.

Ewan wins Stage 11; Conti keeps pink jersey in Giro

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NOVI LIGURE, Italy (AP) Caleb Ewan of Australia sprinted to victory on the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Wednesday, while Italian cyclist Valerio Conti remained the overall leader.

Ewan, who rides for Lotto-Soudal, edged out Arnaud Demare and Pascal Ackermann in a bunch sprint at the end of the entirely flat 221-kilometer (137-mile) route from Carpi to Novi Ligure.

Conti remained 1 minute, 50 seconds ahead of Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic, who is one of the favorites, and 2:21 ahead of Nans Peters of France.

It was the second victory at this year’s Giro for the 24-year-old Ewan, who also won the sprint at the end of the eighth and longest stage on Saturday.

The Giro finishes in Verona on June 2.

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