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 aim to take a stranglehold on their first round playoff series with Washington when they host the Capitals in Game 4 as betting favorites
- Each of the first three games in the series have been settled in overtime, capped by Boston’s 3-2 double-overtime win in Game 3
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Friday night’s matchup at TD Garden
The Boston Bruins can take a commanding 3-1 series lead with a win on Friday when they host the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of their East Division first round playoff matchup as strong -162 home favorites.
The Bruins have overcome a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss in the series opener with a pair of narrow victories, capped by a thrilling 3-2 double-overtime victory in Game 3 on Wednesday night. That defeat puts the Capitals in a familiar position, fighting for their playoff lives. Washington has failed to win a playoff series since their Stanley Cup victory three years ago, but knocked off the Bruins in each of their past two postseason series matchups
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends as this East Division first round matchup continues at 6:30pm ET on Friday night at TD Garden.
Capitals vs Bruins Game 4 Odds
|Team||Spread at DraftKings||Total||Moneyline|
|Washington Capitals||+1.5 (-200)||O 5.5 (+114)||+140|
|Boston Bruins||-1.5 (+106)||U 5.5 (-139)||-162|
Odds as of May 20th.
Bruins, Caps Evenly Matched
Separated by just four points during the regular season, the Bruins and Capitals have demonstrated how well matched they are in this playoff clash. Each of the first three games of the series have needed an extra frame to determine a winner, extending a lengthy trend that has seen 10 of their past 16 overall meetings, and seven of their past 10 playoff matchups go into overtime.
CRAIG SMITH CALLS GAME, HITS THE SUPERMAN CELLY AND THE BOSTON BRUINS TAKE GAME 3!! #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/TIhFzo98cM
— Bruins Diehards (@BruinsDiehards) May 20, 2021
More importantly for Boston, Wednesday’s win extends their recent stretch of strong play on home ice, where the Bruins have now won nine of their past 10 overall. Stellar goaltending has been key to Boston’s success, both during their current home surge, and so far in the postseason. Netminder Tuukka Rask turned in one of his best performances of the season in Game 3, turning aside 35 of 37 shots to improve his overall home record to 8-2-1 this season.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
Hall Living Up to Billing
Up front, the Bruins have received contributions from across the lineup. With the top line of David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron combining to score just three times through the first three games of the series, contributions from the likes of Taylor Hall and Jake DeBrusk have been key.
Taylor Hall as a Bruin: nine goals in 18 games pic.twitter.com/iI1nt3A8jf
— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) May 18, 2021
Acquired ahead of the trade deadline, Hall recorded 14 points in 16 games down the stretch, and has come up big with a pair of goals on 11 total shots in this series. The former MVP has now tallied six total goals in his past seven appearances against Washington and sports attractive +200 odds to find the back of the net in Game 4.
Bruins vs Capitals Series Prices
Capitals Netminders Standing Tall
Now faced with a test of character in the wake of their Game 3 defeat, the Capitals look to Friday night’s clash as lengthy +140 underdogs. In addition to finding their backs to the wall in the series, the Caps must also contend with continued injury woes. Poor health has forced the club to use three goaltenders so far in the series.
Craig Anderson, who turns 40 on Friday, made 21 saves in relief of @Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek to earn his first playoff win since Game 6 of the 2017 Conference Finals (w/ OTT). #StanleyCup#NHLStats: https://t.co/Has0BYsxem pic.twitter.com/lMAhBxBmjX
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 16, 2021
Veteran Craig Anderson emerged as the unlikely hero in Washington’s series opening win, filling in for injured rookie Vitek Vanecek. Anderson, who hopes to celebrate his 40th birthday on Friday with a Washington victory, followed up with a stellar 40-save performance in a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 2 before giving way to Ilya Samsonov in Game 3.
Washington Snipers MIA
But while the strategy of goaltending by committee has produced many positives, the capitals are still waiting for some of their stars up front to contribute. Alex Ovechkin and TJ Oshie have each scored just once so far in the series, while Anthony Mantha, John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom have yet to find the back of the net.
In Nicklas Backstrom’s three games since returning from injury, he has 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, and five shots.
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) May 19, 2021
That uncertainty in net, lack of offensive punch, and loss of home-ice advantage have devastated the Capitals’ position in the NHL playoff series prices, where they now lag as a distant +290 bet. But with an impressive 14 wins in their past 20 visits to TD Garden, and no indication that the tempo of this series is about to change, sports betting fans should expect another hard fought, low scoring clash in Game 4 on Friday night.
The Picks: Capitals +140, UNDER 5.5 (-139)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.