Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Islanders Game 1
Money Line: Carolina+125/New York-145
Puck Line: Carolina-240/New York+199
The Carolina Hurricanes advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by eliminating the defending champions in seven games. The New York Islanders advanced by sweeping a team that was considered a potential champion this season. The Islanders showed why they have the best defense in hockey, limiting the Penguins to just six goals in the series. The Hurricanes 16th ranked offense in the league will have a hard time finding goals in this series. However, the Hurricanes are no strangers to good defense as they are the seventh-ranked team in the league in goals allowed this season. Going up against an Islanders offense that is 22nd in the league at 2.72 goals per game, Carolina may be able to keep the Islanders within in range every game this series. In what should be the lowest scoring series of the playoffs in terms of goals per game, anything can happen, but I expect the Islanders defense to overwhelm the Hurricanes as New York gets the Game 1 victory. New York won the season series 3-1.
Carolina 1 – New York 2
Colorado Avalanche vs San Jose Sharks Game 1
Money Line: Colorado+105/San Jose-125
Puck Line: Colorado-245/San Jose+203
The Colorado Avalanche eliminated the top seed in the Western Conference in just five games to earn a spot in the second round. The San Jose Sharks needed seven games to advance, after trailing in the series 3-1. After being down 3-0 in the third period, a questionable call that led to a five-minute major (which the NHL apologized for calling incorrectly) and helped the Sharks erase that deficit against the Vegas Golden Knights and eventually take the lead with four goals during the extended power play. Now, these two top ten offenses will meet for a chance to get to the Western Conference Finals. The opposite of what we expect to see in the Carolina/New York series, this Colorado/San Jose series should see plenty of goals. Sharks goalie Martin Jones has allowed 2.94 goals per game and has a save percentage of .896. Nathan MacKinnon is one of the fastest skaters in the league and should cause all sorts of problems for Jones and the Sharks defense. Avs goalie Philip Grubauer has given this team a new opportunity since becoming the team’s new number one goalie. He gives this Colorado team a chance against any team on any given day with his play in net. Some good goaltending from Grubauer and excellent play from MacKinnon and the rest of the Avs top line should get Colorado the game one victory on the road. San Jose won the regular season series 3-0.
Colorado 4 – San Jose 2