Statement wins on the road in the playoffs has not been a specialty over the years for Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, who find themselves trailing the underdog Toronto Maple Leafs.
In the betting matchup for Game 4, Washington is listed as a -150 moneyline favorite against +120 underdog Toronto with a total of 5.5 goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Maple Leafs lead the first-round series 2-1.
The Capitals, who have lost the past two games in overtime, are 7-3 straight-up over their last 10 road games against Atlantic Division teams. A longer term and less encouraging trend, though, is that since 2011 Washington is only 3-5 as a road favorite in the playoffs.
Toronto, led by rookie Auston Matthews, is just 6-4 in its last 10 home games at the Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs have received an upgrade on defense with the return of Nikita Zaitsev, who was their most stable rearguard for much of the season. Washington will not have defenseman Karl Alzner (upper body injury).
Home teams who have the last change tend to open up their game to try to skate with the Capitals, which is probably why the total has gone OVER in seven of Washington’s last 10 road games.
The Boston Bruins (-165), coming off of consecutive overtime defeats, are favored against the Ottawa Senators (+135) with a 5.0-goal total for Game 4. The Bruins, who are a garden-variety 5-5 in their last 10 divisional home games, may get defenseman Colin Miller (lower body) back as they try to tie the series. Ottawa, which was been thriving on the power play, is 6-1 in its last seven road games against Boston.
The total has gone UNDER in four of Ottawa’s last five games as a road underdog, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.
Wednesday’s slate includes two potential series clinchers. Trailing 3-0 in the series, the Minnesota Wild (-115) are nevertheless a tissue-thin favorite against the St. Louis Blues (-105) with a 5.0-goal total. The Wild’s issues winning in St. Louis go beyond the trouble they have had scoring against Blues goalie Jake Allen; they are just 3-7 in their last 10 road games against St. Louis.
The total has gone UNDER in just three of St. Louis’ last 10 home games in April, with three pushes.
Also down 3-0, the Calgary Flames (-115) are essentially in a toss-up against the Anaheim Ducks (-115) at the Bovada Sportsbook with a 5.0-goal total. It will be interesting to see how Calgary responds after an epic collapse in Game 3, as Johnny Gaudreau and Co. are 12-4 in their last 16 home games. Anaheim will be looking for a bounce-back effort from goalie John Gibson, who was relieved midway through Game 3.
The total has gone OVER in six of the Ducks’ last 10 playoff road games. The total has gone OVER in seven of the Flames’ last 10 home games in April.