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Wednesday Night Preview

Two more exciting series begin tonight in Carolina and Las Vegas!

Wednesday marks the beginning of two new series as we get closer and closer to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Devils at Huricanes

The Devils and Hurricanes get their second rounds started on Wednesday in Carolina after each of them took out a New York team in the opening series. The Devils are currently slight betting favorites to move on, but the Canes are favored to win tonight by an equally small margin. 

For the Devils, Akira Schmid will once again be a huge factor after stealing the series against the Rangers. In five games played, Schmid had four wins and two shutouts, and only let in more than one goal once. If he can continue this kind of play, Carolina’s limited roster will have a difficult time scoring in this series. Offensively, the Devils will need to continue to play their fast, puck-moving style of play. Carolina’s defensive group is a very solid one, but the Devils have speed that very few teams can match.  

For the Canes, this series is a much tougher matchup than the Islanders. Being opportunistic is always important in the playoffs, but it may be the difference between moving on or going home for Carolina. They’ll be missing Andrei Svechnikov, Max Pacioretty and Tuevo Teravainen for the series, so taking advantage of powerplays and good bounces will be necessary. This series shouldn’t see a ton of goal-scoring, but New Jersey definitely brings a more offensive attack than New York.  

Oilers at Golden Knights

The top teams in the Pacific Division continue their playoff pushes on Wednesday night as well in Las Vegas. Despite the Golden Knights having home-ice advantage, Edmonton is favored in both the series and tonight’s first game.  

Like always, Edmonton’s X-factor is their superstar duo of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. It’s nearly impossible to stop these guys, and just slowing them down should be the goal in a seven-game series. This year, however, the supporting cast is a little more of a threat as well. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Evander Kane, Zach Hyman and Evan Bouchard all made a significant impact in the first series against Los Angeles, scoring big goals at big moments for the Oilers. With such a strong forward group and lethal powerplay, Edmonton is comfortable in coming back from deficits and going goal for goal with just about any team in the NHL. 

So, how does Vegas win four games in this series? They’ll have to come with a physical, fast style of play while taking as little penalties as possible. Thankfully, that’s exactly the game they can play. As long as their goaltending doesn’t let them down at the wrong time and the goalscoring doesn’t dry up, this series should be a very tight one. No team scored more goals-per game than Vegas in the first round, so expect them to bring the same kind of offence to Edmonton’s mediocre defense in Round 2. 

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