NHL Odds: Preds, Caps in Possible Stanley Cup Preview. The Nashville Predators have taken over first place in the NHL standings – and on the Stanley Cup futures market at +350. They’ll play their final road game of the regular season this Thursday when they visit the Washington Capitals (+1600), who have already clinched the Metropolitan Division. The puck drops at 7 PM ET on NBCSN.
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Nashville has turned it on during this playoff drive, winning 17 of their last 22 games behind the stellar goaltending of Pekka Rinne (.927 save percentage), this year’s leading Vezina Trophy candidate. The Capitals have found a new gear since handing Philipp Grubauer (.925 SV%) the reins, winning seven of his last eight starts to lock down the division title; however, former starter Braden Holtby (.907 SV%) is projected to start Thursday’s game.
While the Capitals (47-25-7) have little to play for in this matchup, Nashville (51-17-11) has yet to clinch first place in the Central at press time, although that could change before they arrive in DC. Washington is fully healthy skating into Thursday’s contest, but the Predators might be missing their leading scorer, LW Viktor Arvidsson (29 goals, 31 assists), who’s listed as day-to-day with an unspecified lower-body injury.