Capitals-Golden Knights NHL Preview & Best Bets for April 20

Devon Platana

The 2021-22 NHL season is nearing its end with only a little more than a week remaining in the regular season. Every remaining matchup matters that much more, highlighted by Wednesday’s Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights showdown.

The Capitals have officially locked down a playoff birth and currently occupy the Eastern Conference’s second Wild Card spot with 96 points. A victory over Vegas would boost Washington to the No. 3 spot in the Metropolitan Division.

On the other hand, the Golden Knights do not occupy a playoff spot. They currently have 87 points with five games left to play, trailing the Dallas Stars by four points for the West’s final Wild Card position. Needless to say, this is a must-win situation for Vegas.

Will the Capitals win and improve their playoff seeding? Or will the Golden Knights manage to take one step closer to making an unlikely postseason appearance?

Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights Matchup Info and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Game Matchup: Washington Capitals (43-23-10, 96 points, 4th in Metropolitan Division) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (41-31-5, 87 points, 4th in Pacific Division)
  • Venue & Location: T-Mobile Arena (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2022
  • Time: 10 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch Capitals vs. Golden Knights: ESPN+

Betting Odds

  • Moneyline: Washington Capitals +114, Vegas Golden Knights -137
  • Total: OVER 6.5 (-105), UNDER 6.5 (-115)
  • Puck Line: Washington Capitals +1.5 (-220), Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 (+180)

Odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Capitals Must Keep Ball Rolling After Victory Over Avs

The Capitals enter Wednesday’s game as winners of 15 of their last 21 — including six of their last seven outings. On top of that, their most recent victory was a pretty big one, defeating the NHL-leading Colorado Avalanche, 3-2, on Monday.

It was a good all-around performance by the Capitals against the Avalanche. However, Ilya Samsonov’s performance in net played a crucial role, stopping 24 of the 26 shots he faced.

Alexander Ovechkin scored his 48th goal of the season against the Avs as he reached the 50-goal mark for the ninth time in his career. He also has a whopping 16 goals over while converting on 18.8% of his scoring chances over the last 21 games.

Nevertheless, Ovechkin has had scoring issues against the Golden Knights in the past, finding the back of the net only three times in seven previous meetings. Time will tell if he can overcome that tonight.

Although Ovechkin’s play has been great lately, John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov have been the Capitals’ best players over the last 21 games, tallying 25 points apiece.

The Capitals can also put the Golden Knights in a dangerous position due to the former’s power play. Washington has converted on 20 of its last 68 man-advantages, which translates to 29.4%.

Considering how the Golden Knights have the 12th-worst penalty kill this season, look for the Capitals to try and get on the power play early on.

Can the Golden Knights Steal a Playoff Spot?

Had it not been for injuries to key players throughout the 2021-22 NHL campaign, the Golden Knights would likely be occupying a playoff spot right now. However, that isn’t the case and it’s too late to change the past, so all they can do is move forward.

A 7-2-0 stretch from March 17 to April 3 helped the Golden Knights make up some ground in the postseason race. Unfortunately, going 2-3-1 in their last six games has made life more difficult.

Vegas can finish with a maximum of 97 points and while that can land them as high as second in the Pacific Division if the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings lose all of their remaining games, a Wild Card spot is a more realistic goal.

The Nashville Predators occupy the Western Conference’s top Wild Card seed with 94 points with five games left to play, leaving the Stars as the more realistic team for Vegas to catch.

The Stars are only four points ahead of the Golden Knights with a game in hand. The two teams meet next Tuesday, which highlights the importance of Vegas needing to beat Washington.

It’s certainly going to be an uphill battle with the way that the Capitals have been playing, but the Golden Knights have the tools to get it done.

Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights Prediction and Best Bets

Although the Golden Knights are in a must-win situation, I’m going with the Capitals as the outright winner.

The Capitals are heating up at the right time and their victory over the league-leading Avalanche on Monday highlighted that. They’ve also scored at least eight goals in two of their last three wins, which might be too much offense for Vegas to handle.

As for the best bet, you can’t go wrong with the Capitals as the +114 moneyline underdogs. Taking that market provides bettors with some solid value, especially when it could be argued that Washington should be the favorite due to its recent play.

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