Four series will switch locations tonight as the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll along. The betting underdogs see home ice for the first time in the postseason, looking to take another step towards round two. Here is a rundown of tonight’s NHL games.
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Nashville Predators & Dallas Stars Hit The Under (5 Goals)
This series has been as low-scoring as predicted. The two teams have combined for a total of eight goals through two games. Both the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators have won a game apiece. In the regular season, no Western Conference team was better defensively than the Stars. Dallas surrendered just 202 goals during the campaign. By the way, Nashville ranked second with only 214 goals against. So, experts knew this would be the tightest series of any first round matchup. In Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win for the Predators, goalies Ben Bishop and Pekka Rinne were absolutely stellar. Bishop stopped 40-of-42 shots, and Rinne let only one of the 23 shots slip past him. The netminders have been great, and there isn’t nearly enough offensive firepower to turn any of these contests into shootouts. The five expected goals is the lowest total of the night, but the under (-120) is still the proper play here.
Carolina Hurricanes Win Outright (-130) Vs Washington Capitals
Make no mistake, the Carolina Hurricanes may be outmatched talent-wise, but they have stayed with the Washington Capitals every step of the way. In a game of bounces, something has to give in this series. Carolina deserves a win, even if they can only force a five or six-game series in the end. Carolina’s biggest hurdle has been shutting down the deep offensive unit of Washington, in particular, the team’s top line. So far in the series, Alex Ovechkin has three points, while Nicklas Backstrom has four. If Carolina is to get back in the series, they’ll have to shut down that pair of stars, and most importantly, stay out of the penalty box. Goalie Petr Mrazek needs to step up and steal a game for the Hurricanes as well. He hasn’t been tested as often as expected, yet continues to let pucks into the Carolina net.
John Tavares 1+ Goals & Maple Leafs Win (+230)
This series is destined for seven games, right? In what could be yet another classic Maple Leafs-Bruins’ tilt, the teams have traded wins thus far. And, funny enough, they have traded exact scores as well. Toronto took game one by a 4-1 final, with Boston taking game two by that same score. Boston’s success in game two came partly because of the team’s ability to keep Auston Matthews off the score sheet. The sniper has zero points through two games. Look for the Bruins to key on the Matthews line again. But, that should open up ice for John Tavares and company. Tavares has two points, including a goal in the series. He and Mitch Marner have been hard to contain, so that trend should continue. If Tavares simply records an assist and wins (+165), it would not be as profitable for hockey bettors this evening.