Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final is slated for tonight, May 28 at 8:00 PM EST. The Vegas Golden Knights will host the Washington Capitals in their first-ever Stanley Cup Final game. Washington will be looking for their first franchise victory in a Cup Final after getting swept in their only previous appearance during the 1998 playoffs. Vegas enters Game 1 as the favorite, with a -1.5 puckline set at a +190 payout. Washington’s +1.5 spread is valued at -220. The over/under is set at 5.5 total goals, with both picks being valued at -105. Our Vegas plays Washington 2018 Stanley Cup Final Game 1 Pick examines which team will make history with their victory tonight.
Previous Vegas vs. Washington Matchups
The Golden Knights and Capitals have faced each other twice this season in cross-conference play. Vegas came away with the win in both contests. The one game in Vegas, turned out to be a 3-0 win for the home team with the Capitals going 0-for-4 on the power play. Through the 120 minutes played between these teams Washington has yet to capitalize on the man advantage. On the power play, they’ve gone a combined 0-for-6. Their power play has been great in the postseason though, sitting at 28.8 percent, and will need to be productive tonight if they are going to steal a game on the road.
Vegas’ Has Been Almost Perfect on Home Ice
The Vegas Golden Knights own a 6-1 record on home ice in the playoffs thus far, with their only loss at T-Mobile Arena coming in game two of their second-round matchup against the San Jose Sharks. Since that loss, they have won three straight games in Sin City. Washington, on the other hand, has had little problem dealing with opponents on the road. The Caps have an 8-2 road record in the playoffs, including winning three out of four in Tampa Bay. While this might look promising, they have yet to play in an atmosphere like that of Vegas in this postseason.
Goaltending Will Dominate
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is set up to be a matchup between two dominating netminders. Marc-Andre Fleury is currently the favorite to win the Conn Smythe trophy, win or lose in this series. Meanwhile Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals is coming off of two straight shutout victories against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fleury comes into the series with a .947 save percentage and a 1.68 GAA, while Holtby owns a .923 save percentage and a 2.04 GAA.
The two leading scorers of the playoffs, Alex Ovechkin (12-10-22) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (11-13-24), will need to find a way to crack Fleury. The Golden Knights have had little trouble shutting down strong offences in these playoffs. They stymied a San Jose offence that averaged four goals per game in round one. They also shut down the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference Final. The Jets had finished second in the NHL in scoring during the regular season. It looks likely that Vegas will break through Holtby sooner than the Caps will beat Fleury.
Vegas Plays Washington 2018 Stanley Cup Final Game 1 Pick
Our Vegas Plays Washington 2018 Stanley Cup Final Game 1 Pick expects the series opener to be close. While Vegas has been amazing at home this postseason, the Caps have been unpredictably good on the road. Despite this, the home crowd energy in T-Mobile Arena will be unlike anything the Capitals have experienced in the 2018 playoffs. With Marc-Andre Fleury being in the midst of a magical run, and Braden Holtby coming off of two straight shutouts, we anticipate this game being low scoring. Our Vegas plays Washington 2018 Stanley Cup Final Game 1 pick sees Vegas taking the series opener. Also, if you’d like our series pick, you’ll find it through this link.