The Washington Capitals play host to the Boston Bruins at the Capital One Arena on Tuesday, marking the final regular season game for both teams. According to the early NHL odds as per BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review), the Capitals are the slight faves at -107 but the Bruins, at the same time, loom tantalizingly close as the nominal underdogs at -103.
Will the Capitals capitalise on home advantage? Will the Bruins pull off the upset in the nation’s capital? Or is this just a meaningless regular season finale given that the East Division playoff picture is already set? A game that neither team will get up for because they’ll be mindful of their upcoming meeting in the first round of the playoffs and careful not to risk all for nothing.
Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals
Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Capital One Arena, Washington
Bruins Clinch No.3 Seed in Playoffs
The Boston Bruins are flush off a 3-2 win in overtime at the expense of the NY Islanders on Monday night, coming through for their backers as the firm home favourites in the betting. Depending on the choice top sports betting site, the Bruins were trading anywhere between -160 to -165 in moneyline betting.
The win sees the Bruins rebound from a 5-4 loss to the Rangers at the weekend and, at the same time, improve to a solid 6-3-1 mark in their last ten games. Taylor Hall was instrumental in the victory over the Islanders, scoring twice including the overtime goal that lifted the Bruins to victory. The other goal came from Brad Marchand, who also had an assist on the night. Tukka Rask, in the meanwhile, saved 16 of 18 shots for a .889 save percentage.
Overall, the Bruins are sat pretty in third place behind a 33-15-7 record on the season with 73 points, a run of form that includes an 18-7-3 mark at home and a 15-8-4 mark on the road. Decidedly, with the playoff picture taking shape at the weekend, the Bruins now know that they’ve done all they can towards their postseason standing.
The Bruins are the No.3 seed and they can’t improve their seeding as the race at the top of the division table for home advantage in the first round was decided between the Penguins and Capitals at the close of the weekend. The East Division playoff picture took shape with the Penguins clinching the divisional title with a win over the Sabres and the Capitals clinching the No.2 spot after a 2-1 overtime win over the Flyers .
Capitals Battle To Victory
The Washington Capitals had to fight hard for the 2-1 win over the Flyers at the weekend, going into overtime to seal the victory. While it was a satisfying win in of itself, it wasn’t nearly enough in order to overtake the Penguins at the top of the table. Washington needed (given all the tiebreakers involved) a regulation time victory to stay in the hunt for the East Division title.
On the bright side, the Caps did however clinch the No.2 seed and home-ice advantage for the playoffs on the same day. Even though it is a small consolation prize after losing the bid for the divisional title, it’s nevertheless a good position to be in for the postseason and it should result in early advantage on the NHL odds board.
Overall, the Capitals boast a 35-15-5 record and 75 points, which includes a 16-8-3 mark at home and a 19-7-2 mark on the road. In terms of scoring, they’re the second-highest scoring outfit in the division with 189 goals.
Will Caution Rule Ahead of Playoffs?
With the playoff picture set, the Bruins and Capitals now know they’ll face each other in the first round of the playoffs. As such, their final regular season game is a handy precursor of what’s to come, although it’s unlikely that either team will go all out at the risk of injury or worse.
Indeed, the Capitals are the likeliest to err on the side of caution as their ranks are depleting fast. Most recently, Tom Wilson dropped to the ice in pain in the first period against the Flyers but returned later on. T.J. Oshie, however, wasn’t so fortunate. He was slow to get up in the second period and didn’t return at all.
Oshie’s status remains up in the air. It goes without saying that if he’s unable to play in the postseason it would be a blow to the Capitals who entered Saturday’s contest already missing five of their regulars: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson were out with lower-body injuries, while Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov remain on the NHL’s covid-19 protocol list.
NHL Predictions and Picks:
At face value, this game appears to be a meaningless contest that provides no tangible gains for the winner. Standings and seedings are already set in stone, meaning there’s no obvious incentive or motivation to win this game. And that makes this a right coin-toss for NHL picks in both moneyline and puckline betting markets.
If there were an intangible to be gained in winning, it would be scoring a psychological blow or throwing down the gauntlet ahead of the first round of the playoffs. In such a case, one would think both teams would be motivated to win, adding to the conundrum bettors face in the betting on this final game. But, arguably, the Bruins might be more inclined to go for it than the Capitals given their injury woes. As such, a small wager on the Bruins for the upset might be worth considering.
All told, the best bet however has to be found in total betting markets. If both sides take it easy in this final game, take a more conservative approach with a view towards saving their best for the playoffs, then the UNDER 6 is the most logical option to play surely.