Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) celebrate during the second period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins, Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
- The Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series
- Game 2 will be played on Monday, May 17th at Capital One Arena
- Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick
The Washington Capitals are being listed as +110 underdogs in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins on Monday, May 17th (7:30 PM EST). The Caps took Game 1 of the best-of-seven series by a 3-2 score in overtime.
Washington starting goalie Vitek Vanecek was injured in Game 1, but the Bruins’ offense failed to give backup Craig Anderson much of a test.
Is Washington good value to take a 2-0 series lead, or should you back Boston to even things up?
Bruins vs Capitals Game 2 Odds
|Team||Moneyline at DraftKings||Spread||Total|
|Boston Bruins||-129||-1.5 (+200)||O 5.5 (+114)|
|Washington Capitals||+110||+1.5 (-245)||U 5.5 (-139)|
Odds as of May 16th
Vanecek Injured In Caps’ Game 1 Victory
Washington’s 3-2 overtime win over Boston in Game 1 was overshadowed by an injury to starting goalie Vitek Vanecek in the first period. Vanecek, who posted a 21-10-4 record during the regular season, sustained a lower-body lower-body while trying to stop a shot from Boston forward Jake DeBrusk.
Craig Anderson is now in net for the @Capitals after Vitek Vanecek left with an injury. #ItsOn pic.twitter.com/jBjaMDvBLg
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 15, 2021
Backup goalie Craig Anderson didn’t face many high-danger chances in relief, but he still looked solid, turning away 21 of 22 shots. It doesn’t look like Vanecek will be available for Game 2, which means Anderson is likely to make his first playoff start since 2017. The 39-year-old spent most of the regular season on Washington’s taxi squad and only appeared in four games.
Aside from the goalie injury, Game 1 was everything Washington could have hoped for. The Capitals outshot the Bruins 32-26 and controlled the play through long stretches. Tom Wilson opened the scoring and Alex Ovechkin had a helper and brought the physical intensity. Meanwhile Nic Dowd chipped in with the OT winner.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
B’s “Perfection Line” Looks To Get Rolling
Boston’s top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand will be looking for a better showing in Game 2. The trio was held to just a single power-play assist (Pastrnak) in the opening game. Marchand is close to a point-per-game player in his NHL postseason career, but was limited to a single shot on goal in Game 1.
The good news for Boston is that bottom-six forward Jake DeBrusk looked excellent in Game 1 after a disappointing regular season. The 24-year-old tied the game in the first period with a nice wrist shot that led to Vanecek’s injury. Considering the talent on the top two lines, if DeBrusk can keep up this level of play, Boston has a good chance of making this a series.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask can’t really be faulted on any of the three goals he gave up in Game 1. But it is a bit concerning that he’s now 4-12-7 all-time (reg. season & playoffs) against Washington. Rask’s playoff experience is invaluable, but if he struggles in Game 2, there’s a chance Boston could turn to 22-year-old rookie standout Jeremy Swayman.
Updated Bruins vs Capitals Series Odds
|Team||Odds to Win Series|
What’s The Best Bet?
Boston was heavy favorites to win the series entering Game 1. But the odds have shifted in favor of Washington after that all-important first victory. Teams that win Game 1 in a best-of-7 NHL playoff series go on to win the series 68.8% percent of the time, including 7-1 in the first round last season.
GAME 1 IS OURS!#CapsBruins | #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/UiS0GDEtnu
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 16, 2021
Rask’s growing track record against Washington is concerning, but the Caps’ goaltending situation also isn’t ideal. Anderson owns a stellar .929 career playoff save percentage, but he turns 40 on Friday. And he barely played during the regular season. If Boston’s “Perfection Line” starts clicking, the Caps could be in trouble.
Boston and Washington are two pretty evenly matched teams. They’ve actually played 10-straight one-goal playoff games dating back to 1998. With Boston primed to give Anderson a better test in Game 2 and Rask proving vulnerable against this Caps’ offense, the “over” offers good value.
Pick: Over 5.5 (+114)
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Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years of experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.