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NHL Odds: Caps Stun Bolts, Setting up Pivotal Game 4

NHL Odds: Caps on the Cusp Versus Lightning

Is this finally the year for the Washington Capitals? They were +165 underdogs heading into their Eastern Conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Capitals have taken the first two games of this series in Tampa, leaving them as –370 favorites to finish the job – which could happen as soon as this Thursday. NBCSN has Game 4 starting at 8 PM ET.

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Washington got the jump on the Bolts by outshooting them 69-56 in Games 1 and 2 and outscoring Tampa Bay 10-4, including three power-play goals on seven chances. And they did it without second-line center Nicklas Backstrom (21 goals, 50 assists), who injured his hand in Game 5 of the previous series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Backstrom remains listed as day-to-day; in his place, Lars Eller already has two goals and two assists against the Lightning.

Tampa Bay have confirmed they’ll be sticking with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (.920 save percentage) for Tuesday’s Game 3, despite his struggles in the first two games. No other changes are expected for the Lightning, who have now fallen to plus-1.94 betting units on the playoff puck line, with Washington taking the league lead at plus-7.41 units.

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