Now down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals, Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals will look to pull off the season-saving victory when they host Steven Stamkos and the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning in Monday night’s pivotal Game 6 closeout matchup in the nation’s capital.

If you’re looking to find out if the Caps can get the win t save their season or if the Lightning will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals opposite Vegas, let’s get to me expert NHL playoff betting pick right now.

Game Information

What: Tampa Bay Lightning (64-27-5) at Washington Capitals (59-30-9)
When: Monday, May 21, 2018, at 8:00 PM ET
Where: Capital One Arena
NHL Odds: Washington Capitals -1½ +235 | -125 | U 6 -130


Tampa Bay has stormed back from a 0-2 deficit in this series and got the big win in Game 3 just as I predicted by taking out Washington 3-2 on Saturday. The Lightning also recorded identical 4-2 wins in Games 3 and 4 to tie the series before finally going up a game this past weekend.

Now, they sound like a team on a mission.

“We have a lot of unfinished business,” Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said. “This isn’t even close to being over. This last game’s definitely the hardest, against a very, very good Washington team and to go in their building and try to close them out it’s going to be tough.”

NHL Playoff Betting Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals

Tampa Bay has posted a fantastic 5-1 record on the road this postseason with four consecutive road victories. The Lightning has also never lost a playoff game in Washington in three all-time postseason meetings, which also includes 2003 and 2011 and enter Game 6 with a spotless 7-0 road record against the Caps.

“We’re going to have to match their urgency,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “The closeout games, potential closeout games, they just seem to bring out the best in everybody. For us, we’ve had some success when we’ve got the lead. When you do that, you put a little pressure on the other team. Something we’ll try and focus on (Monday) night.”

NHL Playoff Betting Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals 2

Washington has completely fallen apart after taking a 2-0 series lead, but they’ve had their backs up against the wall before, including this postseason when they were down 0-2 against Columbus in the first round after dropping their two series-opening home games. Now, they’ll look to stop Tampa Bay from advancing to their second Stanley Cup Final in the last four years.

“It’s OK,” Washington captain Alex Ovechkin said. “We’re going to play better in Game 6 and we have (to) bounce back and come here and play a Game 7 and that’s it.”

“We kind of had our backs against the wall a couple times this year in this playoffs. We can draw from those experiences,” defenseman John Carlson said. “Just got to go out there and play hockey. That’s what we do. Just all about upstairs and what you can control. I think if you stay in the moment like we have, we got a pretty good chance of winning.

The good news for the Capitals is that, in the conference era, which dates back to 1974-75, only two teams (Canadiens 1984, Bruins in 1991) in 41 tries, have failed to win a series after winning the first two games.

NHL Playoff Betting Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals 3

“I think these guys are a very capable group that is very capable of winning the next game. That’s all we’re worried about.”

History is not on Washington’s side, however.


Despite now looking at a 3-2 series deficit, Washingto0n has not been completely awful in letting their two-game lead slip away from them. While the Lightning has gone 5-1 in their last 6 games following a win and a robust 37-18 in their last 55 road games, the Capitals have gone 93-41 in their last 134 home games and 22-10 in their last 32 games overall.

NHL Playoff Betting Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals 4

Despite their recent excellence against Washington when they play in the nation’s capital, the Lightning are just 18-37 in the last 55 meetings in Washington. I know the Caps have gotten outplayed in each of the last three games, but I believe Alex Ovechkin and company are completely desperate right about now and it is that desperation that will drive them to the win in Game 6. I’m going to urge you to play the Caps to get the narrow home win to extend their season for at least one more game!

Pick: Washington 4 Tampa Bay 3