Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand (63) jumps into the arms of left wing Taylor Hall (71) after scoring the winning goal in overtime of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Washington Capitals, Monday, May 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
- The Bruins and Capitals play Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series on Wednesday, May 19th
- Boston and Washington split the two games in Washington, with both games decided in overtime
- Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick
The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals meet once again, but this time from Boston. Game 3 will be played on Wednesday, May 19th (6:30 PM EST) at TD Garden and will be broadcasted on NBCSN.
Boston is listed as -148 home favorites to take the third game of the series despite the split in Washington, where they mostly dominated at even strength.
Should you bet the Bruins to take a 2-1 series lead, or do the teams continue to alternate wins and losses against each other?
Capitals vs Bruins Game 3 Odds
|Team||Moneyline at DraftKings||Spread||Total|
|Washington Capitals||+128||+1.5 (-210)||O 5.5 (-103)|
|Boston Bruins||-148||-1.5 (+175)||U 5.5 (-120)|
Odds as of May 18th
Boston’s Secondary Scoring
The biggest key coming into this series for the Boston Bruins was going to be its secondary scoring. In last year’s playoff bubble, it all but disappeared. This year was headed towards the same fate until Taylor Hall was traded from Buffalo to Boston. Considering that Hall had all of two goals while in Buffalo, few expected the turnaround to be so abrupt. The left-wing went from averaging a point every other game to 14 points in 16 contests. He averaged three shots a game in Boston compared to 2.36 per in Buffalo.
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Every metric went upward including, his shooting percentage, which ballooned to 16.7% (eight goals in all). That boost in scoring has already paid dividends in this year’s playoffs as he scored the tying goal in Game 2. There is more.
The Boston winger ranks respectably when it comes to expected goals — especially at even strength. Hall made an immense difference over the final month of the season for the Bruins. It is why Washington has had such a hard time at 5-on-5 containing the Hall line because they cannot match up.
Taylor Hall had an excellent game last night. He had game high 11 shot attempts, with 7 of them on net, generating 1.27 xG for himself! In the end he was rewarded with game tying goal in the 3rd period. Overall, the 2nd line was great as Bruins had almost 80 % share of xG w/ Hall pic.twitter.com/uo4FzNS7nN
— Andy & Rono 📊 (@HockeyStatsCZ) May 18, 2021
Hall creates plays and rushes to the net as often as he wants. Washington keeps the lanes open, so he keeps exploiting those gaps.
Washington and Their Goaltending
Now, Washington already had a dilemma as to who they would start in net against Boston. Vitek Vanecek did not even last an entire period. He stopped three of four shots before pulling a muscle after he allowed one goal. Craig Anderson had to back up for the Capitals because Ilya Samsonov had been in COVID protocol for a second time this season.
Anderson was great in relief as he helped Washington win Game 1 in overtime. He yielded just one goal on 22 shots. Game number two saw the Bruins up the intensity, and Anderson allowed four goals on 48 shots in the overtime loss. He did play well enough though which, puts Peter Laviolette in sort of a pickle.
Brad Marchand wins it in overtime.
What a feed from Matt Grzelcyk. pic.twitter.com/iKWwCWl8hr
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 18, 2021
Can Laviolette rely on an almost 40-year old goaltender? Anderson’s lateral movement had become slower as the game went along and on the overtime goal especially. Though the veteran goalie played well, do they consider going to Ilya Samsonov for Game 3 if he is healthy?
Bruins vs Capitals Series Odds
|Team||Odds to Win Series|
Capitals vs Bruins Game 3 Best Bet
The Bruins are modest favorites to now win Game 3 and the series because they hold some advantages in goaltending, defense, and scoring depth. Their duo in net is better than Washington’s currently and again Boston’s ability to play better at even strength will eventually make more of a difference as the series wears on.
Phenomenal response by Jake DeBrusk tonight, building upon his G1 effort and bringing it all night. Clearly his confidence—mental and physical— was at an all-time low during the regular season. Now, he’s shooting, grinding and making plays on both ends. He’s back. #NHLBruins
— Bruins Network (@BruinsNetwork) May 18, 2021
The only question for Boston comes down to execution. Their expected goals for is amazing at even strength (particularly Game 2). Boston scored four times at even strength on Monday night. If they get production like what Jake DeBrusk has provided among others, Washington will not last long in this series no matter who is in net for either side. Take the Boston at -148 on the moneyline in the Capitals vs Bruins Game 3 odds.
Pick: Boston Bruins ML (-148)
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A journalist veteran for over two decades, Chris has taught the gamut of fantasy hockey sports online from injuries to news to prospects, and more. He has bet on several sports and written sports betting articles about the NBA, MLB, NCAA football, the NFL, and NHL for USA Today.