Exciting NHL Playoffs
The race to win the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup is heating up, with the second playoff round entering crunch time as teams eye a spot in the semi-finals.
This year’s playoff race is a slightly different proposition to the usual NHL fare, with the league rejigging divisions to ensure travel safety for players during the Covid-19 pandemic.
But that change has had no impact on the postseason drama, as the Toronto Maple Leaf’s incredible game 7 collapse last week showed. We're looking forward to tonight where the drama continues - most of our recommended sportsbooks are running NHL playoffs promotions, feel free to check them out and pick up terrific offers.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Carolina Hurricanes - Game 5
For the 13th time this season, the Lightning and the Hurricanes are squaring off, this time with more on the line than at any point this year. The Hurricanes find themselves down 3-1 and will be looking to extend the series any way possible in tonight's matchup at the PNC Arena.
Carolina's only win this series has come in overtime of game 3 and the first three games of the series were decided by one goal until Tampa Bay finally broke that streak on Saturday in game with a 6-4 win behind Steven Stamkos who scored two of his five total playoffs goals in the game. One more win for the Lightning and they're headed to the Stanley Cup semi-finals.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been looking good so far this post season, they're second in goals scored per game at 3.6 while topping the league in powerplay at 41.2%. On the defensive end they're sixth, allowing 2.6 goals per game behind goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy who has a 40-25 total playoff record saving .926 save percentage.
The main decider of game 4 was the powerplay. The Hurricanes failed to score in any of their two attempts having a man advantage, while the Lightning converted three of six attempts leading to a two goal come behind victory.
The Hurricanes will have +16.000 people in the stands and they need to gain energy from the crowd. One thing pointing Carolina's way is that they are 7-2 in the last nine games where they've had two days of rest from the previous game and Hurricane fans hope they can continue that trend.
Hurricanes +1.5, -245
Lightning -1.5, +200
Over/Under Total Goals
Over 5, -130
Under 5, +107
Las Vegas Golden Knights @ Colorado Avalanche – Game 5
Colorado had the swagger after winning the first two games in this playoff series, but back-to-back home wins mean the Golden Knights have now evened this series at 2-2 and set it up for some clutch hockey this week.
Las Vegas won game 4 with some ease, hammering the Avalanche 5-1 in a game that saw Colorado manage just 18 shots all game despite having gone ahead after just 1:50.
The Knights owe much of their renaissance to forward Jonathan Marchessault, who now has five goals in the playoffs after a career-first hat trick in game 4. The Vegas forward line of Marchessault, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith is looking red-hot right now.
Colorado began the second playoff round as the bookmakers’ favourites to lift the 2021 Stanley Cup, following their 82-point regular season and sweep of St Louis in the first playoff round.
But the Avalanche’s talented top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen has looked meek and coach Jared Bednar’s harsh words of motivation after game 3 did not spark the reaction he was hoping for on Sunday.
The Avs will now play game 5 on home ice but must be concerned about returning to Vegas for game 6 after these back-to-back defeats. The team looks like it could do with second-line centre Nazem Kadri, out through suspension, right now.
Logan O’Connor and Matt Calvert are also out for Colorado, while Vegas are unlikely to recover Peyton Krebs in time.
Avalanche -1.5, +170
Knights +1.5, -210
Over/Under Total Goals
Over 5.5, -100
Under 5.5 -120
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