Capitals vs Lightning

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Capitals vs Lightning odds, Game 2: Data scientist on 15-4 run reveals NHL Playoffs 2018 picks…
Read and Know More About Capitals vs Lightning- The puck will drop Sunday on Game 2 of the 2018 NHL Playoffs Eastern Conference finals between the Capitals and Lightning at 8 p.m. ET. Tampa Bay is -200 on the money line at home, meaning you would need to risk $200 to win $100, while Washington is +175 (risk $100 to win $175). The Over-Under, or total number of goals Vegas thinks will be scored, is 6.

Before you make your pick, you need to see what SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh has to say. The co-founder of AccuScore, Oh has been money on his picks involving the Caps, nailing 15 of his 19 selections for an astounding 79 percent success rate.

But he knows the ins and outs of both teams and has studied all the matchups and trends that will determine the outcome.

Now, using his specialized sports simulations, projections and advanced statistical analysis, Oh has examined Game 2 from every angle. We can tell you Oh is leaning toward the Over and has a strong money-line pick. You won’t discover his reasons buried in any box score. He’s sharing it over at SportsLine.
That’s all well and good. Anger is better than resignation. It is more useful than despair.

But more useful than both are answers, which were in short supply for the Lightning on Monday, 12 hours after they had cleared out of Amalie Arena, having lost two games at home to the surging Capitals and about to head into enemy territory two losses away from their season being over.

It is a startling turn of events, especially for those who watched the Lightning defeat the New Jersey Devils and the Boston Bruins in the first and second rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, winning both series in five games.

“It’s hard to explain,” Cooper said Monday. “If you could, maybe we wouldn’t be down 0-2.”

Asked if this felt like the same team, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said, “No, obviously not.”

The things they were doing against the Devils and Bruins aren’t what they’re doing against the Capitals. The crispness of passes, the quickness on the puck, the lack of turnovers. It’s vanished for the Lightning, partially because of the opponent, but perhaps more because the Lightning have themselves suddenly become disjointed.

“We’re probably not following our structure the way we have in the previous two series,” Cooper said. “That’s one thing. The second thing you hit on is execution. We get chances to make plays and our team has the ability to make plays and we’re not.

“It’s either pucks in the skates or it’s too far ahead or you’re putting it somewhere where they can’t handle it. It’s just unlike us. In saying that, in an 82-game season I could probably count 15 games where that happens. It happens. Nobody plays the perfect game. Nobody goes 82-0. Nobody goes 16-0 in the playoffs. It’s just heightened when you’re at this time of the year and this time.”

It’s discouraging. It’s the worst time of the season to lose that edge, execution and ability to do all the things that got them to this point. Especially so quickly.

The Lightning are struggling to stop the Capitals, giving them too many turnovers and clear shots at goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. They’re seeing the Capitals clog their defensive zone, use their speed, while the Lightning aren’t using their own. They also are struggling to get chances of their own, especially in Game 1 when Capitals goalie Braden Holtby made 19 saves and barely was tested.

They’ve scored four goals in two games, three on the power play, which is good news for the man-advantage statistics but bad news for a team that also needs to produce at even strength.

“We’ve obviously got to be more consistent over 60 minutes,” Hedman said. “We’re in a hole, but one team that can come out of it is us.”

Hedman believes the Lightning can bounce back and reassert themselves, return to the play that got them to this point. He believes in the teammates and the team that had113 points in the regular season, most in the Eastern Conference.

But he, like the rest of the team, doesn’t exactly have answers.

It has happened suddenly and, suddenly, the Lightning find themselves in a position where adjustments need to be made, perhaps changes. They might not have been panicking after Game 2, but there is a sense of concern, a sense that things have gone awry without a real explanation.


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