The Capitals defeated their rival Pittsburgh Penguins in six games, ensuring the two-time defending champions wouldn't get a shot at the Stanley Cup this year. The victory propelled the Capitals to their first Eastern Conference Final appearance since 1998.
Now they'll face an even more intimidating opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the betting favorite to win the Eastern Conference in 2018.
In the regular season, Tampa Bay tallied the most wins in the league and ended up third in points, behind Nashville and Winnipeg. They finished the season with the second-best odds to win the 2018 Stanley Cup at 6/1, sitting behind just the Nashville Predators at 7/2.
They've maintained their tenacity well into the playoffs, beating both the Devils and Bruins in five games.
The Capitals have had a bit more difficulty making it to the Eastern Conference Final. It took six games for the Capitals to beat both the Blue Jackets and the Penguins, and they've had to come from behind in both series.
The Capitals entered the playoffs as 16/1 favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Predators, Lightning, Bruins (25/4), Golden Knights (7/1), Penguins (17/2), Jets (10/1), and Maple Leafs (14/1) all had better pre-playoff odds to win the Stanley Cup than the Capitals.
Heading into the Eastern Conference Final, the Lightning are +265 to win the Stanley Cup, the best odds of the remaining teams, while the Capitals sit at +375.
Here are the betting odds, lines and spread for Game 1 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals between the Capitals and Lightning.
Capitals vs. Lightning Game 1 Odds, Spread, Money Line
When: 8:00 p.m. ET. Friday, May 11
Where: Amalie Arena. Tampa, Fla.
Betting Favorite: Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5
Money Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -175
Against the Spread: The Lightning finished the regular season 36-46 ATS and 52-29-1 Over/Under. The Lightning enter the Eastern Conference Finals with an 8-2 record ATS in the 2018 Playoffs, and were the betting underdogs just once in their ten previous playoff games. The Capitals finished the Regular season 43-52 ATS and 42-45-8 Over/Under and enter the Eastern Conference Finals 6-6 ATS in the 2018 Playoffs.
MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:
- Streak Over: D.C. finally breaks through
- Caps-Lighting: The Ultimate Preview
- Power Ranks: Updated Standings
- Inside the Series: Players to watch
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