It’s hard to believe that we’ve already made it through 32 NHL playoff games in 8 days of postseason action. On tonight’s Tuesday night slate, we’ll see the first three Game 5s of the year and the first elimination game as the Canes look to finish off the Isles. Who should you be taking to win tonight’s games? Let’s discuss.
Islanders at Hurricanes (-155)
The Hurricanes look to become the first team to punch their ticket to the second round tonight after a dominant Game 4 in New York. The offence has done their thing, the defense has been stifling, and Antti Raanta has been solid when he needs to be. It’s true that nothing has totally stuck out for Carolina in this series, but that may just be a byproduct of the way both these teams play. The Islanders did look great in Game 3, but unfortunately followed it up with their worst performance of the playoffs in Game 4. If they have any chance of coming back in this series, they’ll need to be better on special teams. The powerplay has been especially terrible, and it’s almost impossible to win in the playoffs if you cannot take advantage of your opponent’s errors.
The Hurricanes have won nine of their last ten home playoff games. I expect this trend to continue and for them to advance on Tuesday night in another gritty, low-scoring affair.
Wild at Stars (-130)
This series has been one of the tightest so far in the NHL playoffs. The Wild and Stars are big, physical teams with high-end offensive talent, strong defensive units and very good netminders. It really would be a surprise if this series didn’t go to seven games, but the winner tonight will obviously still have a huge advantage. The Stars will once again be without Joe Pavelski. Although this is a massive blow for the team, their top end players have stepped up in his absence in a big way, led by Roope Hintz with eight points in four games. For Minnesota, tonight needs to be about getting Kirill Kaprizov going. He’s the team’s best player, but Dallas hasn’t made it easy on him and he’s managed just one goal in four games.
This one is another coin toss. Minnesota has proven they can win on the road, and they’ll be a very determined group after getting what they felt was the short end of the stick in Game 4 due to some questionable penalty calls on Marcus Foligno. We’ll take the Wild tonight in an upset.
Kings at Oilers (-220)
With three of the first four games going to overtime, no series has been closer than this one. After the first period in Game 4, it looked like we were finally seeing some separation, but then the Oilers came storming back before winning in the extra frame. Leon Draisaitl, Evan Bouchard and Victor Arvidsson have been the standouts in this series, but the talent is clearly everywhere on the ice. For tonight’s Tuesday night tilt, expect the Oilers to come in riding the high after their comeback win on Sunday night. The confidence should be up, and the arena will certainly be buzzing.
Although I do think Edmonton should be the favorite in this one, I don’t quite understand the line here. Every game has been close, so if you’re looking for value, Los Angeles is definitely a good pick. However, if you just need to pick a winner, the home side Oilers are the call.
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