Panthers a Favorite Over Ovechkin-Less Capitals

Quinn Allen
By , Updated on: Feb 15, 2023 07:00 PM
Panthers a Favorite Over Ovechkin-Less Capitals

The Florida Panthers will be looking to get back to their winning ways on Thursday evening as they head to DC to face the Washington Capitals, who are currently without superstar Alex Ovechkin. The puck drops in the Nation's Capital at 7 PM ET at Capital One Arena. Florida is coming off a humbling 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday evening, while Washington has dropped back-to-back games. They fell to the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on Valentine's Day. Keep reading for the Panthers vs Capitals prediction.

Before we get into the odds and predictions for this game make sure to check out our online sportsbook reviews, and the top NHL betting sites.

Panthers vs Capitals Odds

Florida Panthers-113-125-125
Washington Capitals+102+105+105

The Panthers are favored at all three sportsbooks. At BetOnline, they sit at -113 while the Caps come back at +102. The total is set at six goals.

Florida has won two in a row against Washington, outscoring them 10-6 in the process.

Florida vs Washington Preview

The Panthers remain in the Eastern Conference playoff race, just two points behind the Caps, who hold the final berth right now. While there is a lot of time left in the season, Florida has to find some consistency because it's a dogfight for those last couple of postseason spots. They're 5-4-1 in their last 10 outings, notching a few impressive wins over solid teams like the Bruins, Lightning, and Wild. Scoring goals is definitely not the problem for this squad, ranking third in the NHL. Matthew Tkachuk is leading the charge with 27 goals and 48 assists in his first season with the organization after coming over from the Calgary Flames. Carter Verhaeghe is also showing well, firing home 29 times and tallying 20 assists.

Defensively is where the Panthers tend to struggle at times, allowing 3.44 goals per night. That flaw showed against St. Louis. Florida went into the third period down 3-1 but the Blues completely blew it wide open in the third, scoring three more as the game ultimately ended 6-2. Verhaeghe ended up getting on the scoresheet and Tkachuk grabbed an assist, but there was little offensive production here, despite outshooting St. Louis 36-28. And despite the Panthers' recent success against Washington, they're only 12-16-3 on the road. At home is where this team thrives most.

Washington was dealt a crushing blow earlier this week when Ovi announced he's stepping away from the team for the next few weeks to tend to a family matter. Sadly, it was due to the health of his father, who recently passed away as the Russian star revealed Wednesday on his IG. He's undoubtedly the main man for the Caps, leading the team with 32 goals and 22 assists in 54 games in 2022-23. It's going to be hard to make up for that production, but family is family. Nevertheless, DC managed to give a very good Hurricanes team a run for their money on Tuesday, losing 3-2. Stefan Noesen's goal in the second period proved to be the difference-maker. Joe Snively and TJ Oshie found the back of the net for the Capitals. With Washington currently holding eighth place in the East, others will need to step up in place of Ovechkin for the time being, most notably Marcus Johansson and Conor Sheary.  Their upcoming schedule isn't easy though, facing the Canes again and the Red Wings after the Panthers come to town.

Panthers vs Capitals Prediction

I really have no belief in the Capitals without Ovi. He's just too important. I'm not saying they won't find some wins when he's not with the team, but I do think Florida takes this one.

Florida Panthers Moneyline vs Washington Capitals

Take a look at our reviews of the top online sportsbooks for your best betting needs, including our Bovada review:

Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen leverages his broadcast journalism degree and passion for sports in his betting previews and analysis. Based in Kelowna, Canada, he has emerged as an expert voice with picks featured on OSB, MTS, SBD, and as a ClutchPoints editor. With a lifelong fandom of...

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