The Stanley Cup Playoffs roll on with a pair of matchups in the east and out west. Will the Tampa Bay Lightning avenge a game one loss, and can the Winnipeg Jets salvage home ice? Here’s a preview of the night’s upcoming NHL action.
Vegas Golden Knights & San Jose Sharks Hit The Under
After nailing our prediction for game one of this series, we’ll go the opposite way and say these two teams will clamp down defensively. An empty-net goal sealed a 5-2 win for San Jose Wednesday and it clinched a victory for the over bettors. The funny thing about the seven total goals scored was San Jose being the team with question marks in net, not the Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury was incredible during last year’s Cup run, and had another terrific campaign in the crease. Instead, it was Martin Jones, the highly-scrutinized goaltender who stole the show. Jones made 24 saves to give the Sharks the edge in the series. Oddsmakers believe this is the most even series in the first round, so the results of game two could go either way. Take a shot at the under on this game, rather than picking a winner.
Tampa Bay Lightning Win Outright (-250) Vs Columbus Blue Jackets
It came as a surprise to many that Columbus claimed game one, but it may be just as big of a surprise that the Blue Jackets won a game at all in this series. NHL fans everywhere could see their brackets busted before round two even begins if Columbus pulls off the upset here. Through one period of play, the Lightning got the better of the Blue Jackets, to say the least. Tampa was up 3-0 after the first, but succumbed to a motivated and energized Columbus squad in the following 40 minutes. There’s no way Steven Stamkos and the Lightning can fall behind 2-0 heading back to Ohio. This team has been humbled, so it’s time to play the way they have been for a full regular season. Take the Lightning to win this game, and potentially head back to Tampa with a chance to close this series out.
Sidney Crosby 1+ Goal & Penguins Win
Keeping Sidney Crosby off the score sheet in a postseason game does not happen very often. But, that’s exactly what occurred in game one of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ series against the New York Islanders. The Isles, the best defensive squad in the Eastern Conference, held Sid the Kid to just two shots and kept him pointless throughout the evening. Crosby has 185 points in 161 postseason matchups, and has averaged well over one PPG in the previous two playoffs. Last year, Crosby put up an incredible 21 points in 12 postseason games. On Wednesday, Crosby was around the net all evening, but couldn’t slip anything past Robin Lehner. After falling in overtime, the bounces should go Pittsburgh’s way in game two. It remains to be seen if the Islanders defense can keep up the Pens’ speedy top-six forwards. If Crosby scores tonight, the Pens will win and head back to Pittsburgh even at one game apiece.