Two teams still looking for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference square off as the Washington Capitals face the Philadelphia Flyers. Both teams trail the Tampa Bay Lightning and have already put themselves in a better position than the Boston Bruins, who are statistically eliminated from that position with two outright losses. The winner of this game has a shot to overthrow the Lightning for that No. 1 seed.
The goaltending matchup will be Braden Holtby for Washington and Brian Elliott for Philadelphia; both goalies have been confirmed by local media. Holtby has remarkable playoff numbers against the Flyers, going 4-2 with a 0.84 GAA/.968 SV% and two shutouts. Elliott has never faced the Caps during the playoffs but does own a 10-7-0 record to go along with a 3.09 GAA/.895 SV%.
Philly was great against Washington during the regular season, going 3-1 and outscoring them 16-8 in the four games. When we look at some interesting numbers for this series, we’ll see that the Caps have a big hurdle to overcome – but it can be done.
Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers
East Qualifying Round Robin 4:00 p.m. EST (Watch: NBCSN)
WSH: Braden Holtby (25-14-6, 3.11 GAA/.897 SV% this season) PHI: Brian Elliott (16-7-4, 2.87 GAA/.899 SV% this season)
WSH: John Carlson -D (DTD), Lars Eller -F (O) PHI: Michael Raffl -F (O)
Where’s the Money Going?
As of Thursday morning (10:10 a.m. EST), the Flyers are getting 61% of the public bets to win on the moneyline. However, 67% of all money wagered is sitting with the Caps. On the puck line, Philly owns nearly all the bets (85-87%) on the public bets and all money wagered. On the total, 60% of public bets and 81% all money wagered are on the under.
2 is the (Un)Lucky Number for Caps vs. Flyers
For whatever reason, the Caps were only able to muster exactly two goals in each of their four meetings with the Flyers. Oddly enough, Washington only scored two goals in their qualifying-round opener, and they came in a span of 2:08 towards the end of the second period.Paste Paragraph in here.
Why Elliot in Net vs. Washington?
In this new format of the bubble, the top-4 teams in each conference have the luxury of playing some games without the threat of being eliminated. This is the game Philly has chosen for Elliott to start, giving starter Carter Hart a chance to relax for a day. Elliott is no slouch, though, going 16-7-4 during the regular season.
Capitals Moneyline (-115)
Dating back to the pre-coronavirus regular season, the Caps have lost four of their last five games and are certainly due for a win. In fact, each of those three losses came by only one goal. As I just mentioned, Elliott is no slouch, but he’s also not the same guy as Hart. This is an opportunity for Washington to steal one, especially with Holtby’s history of success against Philly in the playoffs.
Expect a big game from Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov on the first line. John Carlson is a game-time decision that still has yet to make his debut in the bubble.
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