Capitals Advance To Eastern Finals
Capitals End Eastern Conference Finals Drought
Alex Ovechkin – as one of the greatest players in NHL history (through this point in his career) – has never had much success in the playoffs, having played in 109 postseason games without ever advancing out of the Eastern Conference semifinals. However, this year, the future hall-of-famer got over the hump, beating fellow generational GOAT Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins to end the Capitals’ 20-year Eastern Conference Finals drought.
In beating the Pens, the Capitals have finally pulled out the thorn in their sides, guaranteeing themselves at least one luxury: that they will not have to watch the Penguins go on to win the Stanley Cup as they have the past two years. Of course, whether or not Ovechkin and his Capitals club can win the Cup themselves remains to be seen.
In order to get to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Washington Capitals will have to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning, who led the Eastern Conference in wins and points for the 2018 regular season. That said, the teams have only played each other three times this year, with the matchups being extremely close. The Lightning hold a slim edge going 2-1 against the Caps (with one of those wins being in OT), but that might not matter with the Capitals hitting their stride at the right time in these playoffs.
Right now at most Las Vegas sportsbooks and legal online betting sites like SportsBetting, BetOnline, and others, the Capitals are +325 on the odds boards to win the Stanley Cup. The Lightning, the favorites to win the championship outright, are sitting at +250, and the Western Conference’s Vegas Golden Knights (how about that, sports bettors!) are carrying +280 odds to take the title. Meanwhile, the West’s other players, the Nashville Predators and the Winnipeg Jets, have +400 and +450 odds for legal sports betting in Maryland to hoist the big trophy themselves.
Overall, the Capitals are in a good spot, crediting this season’s success in the playoffs with generally flying under the radar as perennial underdogs, where they will likely remain in a sure-to-be bruising series against the Lightning. In many ways, this series between the Caps and the Lightning is the Stanley Cup Final, as the winner will be the odds-on favorite to win the whole shebang.
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