Things are well and truly beginning to hot up on the NHL Playoff run. With some of the favorites already ousted and the general Playoff picture far from as expected, the 2021 NHL Playoffs are extremely exciting. Already, we’ve seen big names head out, and the consequences of their exits are being felt around the league.
The latest round of games to come up on Saturday night look like barnburners, too, with the Carolina Hurricanes facing off against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Boston Bruins taking on the New York Islanders in the next match of two very interesting series.
All our top recommended sportsbooks have lots of markets and great odds available for the games as well!
How, then, is the lay of the land looking for both games?
Carolina Hurricanes @ Tampa Bay Lightning
This promises to be a very interesting game indeed. The Hurricanes are back in the series, as they came through a challenging Game 3 to pick up a win in Overtime. The game came down to a Jordan Staal winner, as he hit the winning shot at 5:57 in Overtime to take a 3-2 win in the third match of the series. As the No.1 seed in the Central Division, losing the first two games of the series at home made this a do-or-die evening – and this time they had the wind behind them to carry them through to a tight, needed victory.
However, while the likes of Staal and Teuvo Teravainen were essential, with the latter getting two assists, it was the goalkeeper, Petr Mrazek, who was most impressive. He made a whopping 35 saves, despite making his first start in this postseason. The Lightning meanwhile were reliant on the form of Brayden Point, while their keeper, Andrei Vasilevskiy, made 24 saves – a strong contribution, but not enough on a frenetic night.
Now, there is life back into this extremely tight match-up between the 1st and 3rd seeds. The Hurricanes came out with an impressive start, going 1-0 up and playing excellently after taking the lead. Though the game did eventually go to OT, they found another level again and managed to overcome the odds to keep their season alive.
This win does change the perspective of the season a touch. It means that we are now looking at a series with some life, and some doubts are no doubt arriving in the heads of the Lightning. If you fancy a flutter on this one, we recommend taking a look at series-tying win for the Hurricanes. Currently, the Hurricanes are +138 on a Money Line, while the Lightning are -147.
Boston Bruins @ NY Islanders
With the typical Boston-New York rivalry within sports, this series always had the makings of one that could crackle and spark into life at any given moment. After an impressive OT win in the third game of the series, Boston arrive in New York in the series lead. While Islanders keeper Semyon Varlamov played a strong game, he could do nothing to stop a Brad Marchand OT winner, putting them 2-1 up late on in Overtime to secure a win over their rivals.
With Tuukka Rask making 5 of his 28 saves in OT alone, it was a very impressive evening overall for the Bruins. Craig Smith also enjoyed a fine evening, scoring a crucial goal, and it played a major role in turning series around. Without doubt, the Bruins have the confidence now and with ascendency in the tie we can see them going from strength to strength as the next phase of the tournament begins.
New York’s Varlamov made a whopping 39 saves, but it wasn’t enough as the Bruins found their way through late on. Mathew Barzal had scored a late third period equaliser for the Islanders, but it wasn’t enough to swing momentum. In the end, the Bruins were deserved winners and came out on top to turn the series in their favour.
Heading into this crucial next match, we are in a pretty interesting position. Expect the Islanders to have lost some confidence having seen the series turn so badly. While they are by no means down a hole yet, they need a win on Saturday night. However, that desperation can lead to more chaotic play and mistakes in the NHL. As it stands, we are backing Boston to take a decisive lead in the series on Saturday evening. Currently, the Bruins hold a -148 Moneyline bet at Bet365, while the Islanders are +120.
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