Bruins vs Capitals Game 5 Odds and Picks

Taylor Hall goal celebration

Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) celebrates after scoring on Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov (30) in the second period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, Wednesday, May 19, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • The Boston Bruins try to eliminate the Washington Capitals in Game 5
  • Washington’s Alex Ovechkin doesn’t yet have an even-strength goal in the series
  • Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick

The Boston Bruins are a slight -130 favorite to beat the Washington Capitals in Game 5 and  win their first round NHL playoff series for the fourth  consecutive season.

A late surge lifted the Bruins into the playoffs. Now, they are playing the committed defensive style that has been their trademark for years. They have won two overtime games in the series, and goalie Tuukka Rask owns a 1.99 goals-against average.

The Bruins have been better in most statistical categories, particularly on the power play where the Alex Ovechkin-led Caps should have the advantage.

Bruins vs Capitals Game 5 Odds

Team Moneyline at DraftKings Spread Total
Boston Bruins -130 -1.5 (+205) O 5.5 (+112)
Washington Capitals +113 +1.5 (-250) U 5.5 (-136)

Odds as of May  22nd

Where is Nicklas Backstrom?

Ovechkin is Washington’s captain and primary offensive force, but for many years Washington’s offensive charge has started with Backstrom setting the table.

In the first four games of this series, Backstrom has no goals, and one assist, with a -1 plus-minus. The Capitals probably can’t beat Boston without Backstrom rediscovering this game.

It would also help if newcomer Anthony Mantha started scoring again. The Caps acquired him from Detroit with the idea he could become one of their go-to playoff scorers. If you go back to the regular-season, Mantha has gone 14 games without a goal. Defenseman John Carlson (no goals, two assists, -2) also isn’t contributing as much offensively as he usually does.

Bruins vs Capitals Series Odds

Team Odds at DraftKings
Boston Bruins -2500e
Washington Capitals +1000

Rask’s Consistency Keys Boston’s Success

It’s difficult to understand why Rask isn’t beloved in Boston. At best, you would say fans have a love-hate relationship with Rask. At worst, you’d say the majority of fans would prefer to have another goalie.

The perplexing part of Rask’s reputation in Boston is that he has served the team well in net through the years.

That’s certainly true now. The four playoff teams in the East Division have comparable talent collections, but Rask on paper gives the Bruins an edge in net. He’s seen it all in Boston through the years, and has strong numbers to show he handled it reasonably well.

In this series, he has a .930 save percentage, and has stopped 54 of 57 shots on net in the past two games.

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Bruins Down a Defenseman

The Boston Bruins have already said that defenseman Kevan Miller won’t play Game 5 against the Capitals on Sunday.

In Game 4,  Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov was assessed a five-minute major,  later rescinded to a four-minute double minor, after an open-ice check that sent Miller to the hospital. Orlov jumped to hit Miller’s chest and shoulder. The Bruins defenseman then fell awkwardly and his head struck the ice.

Miller has been released from the hospital, but the Bruins have not offered any details of his condition.

Signs Point to a Bruins Clinch

The Bruins have been looking sharp for more than month. Going back to April 14, the Bruins are 15-5-1. They were often undermined by injuries this season, but when they got healthier later in the season, they started to live up to their reputation as a hard team to play against.

The addition of Taylor Hall also has provided a spark. Playing well against the Capitals isn’t new to them. They were 4-2-2 against Washington during the regular-season. When you combine the regular-season and playoffs, they are now 7-3-2 against Washington. Based on how angry Ovechkin was when the Caps lost Game 4, Washington won’t likely go quietly in Game 5. But it seems like the Bruins have more players going well than the Capitals.

The Picks: Bruins -130 , Over 5.5 (+112)

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Kevin Allen