2017 NHL Playoffs Second Round Betting Predictions

Posted by Michael Hunt on Wednesday,April 26, 2017 9:15, EDT in

The NHL’s first round had some incredible hockey with a whopping 18 overtime games. That’s the most extra periods ever for a single round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, surpassing the 17 overtime games played in the first round in 2013. Every series had at least one overtime game, led by Leafs-Capitals, which went beyond regulation in five of the six matchups. So the second round has a lot to live up to, and it gets underway on Wednesday. Here’s a glance at each match and it’s NHL betting prediction.

2017 NHL Playoffs Second Round Betting Predictions

Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues

This begins Wednesday in St. Louis, with the Blues at -120 on the series line. Neither team was supposed to be here as the Predators shocked the West top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks in a sweep – the first No. 8 over No. 1 sweep in NHL playoff history. St. Louis, meanwhile, beat No. 2 seed Minnesota in five games. Predators goalie Pekka Rinne and Blues goalie Jake Allen were sensational in their teams’ first-round triumphs. Can they continue that superb play in the second round? The Blues are a low-shot volume team that relies heavily on its top line. That will be confronted by the defense of Nashville, which features one of the NHL’s most effective top four. Prediction: Blues in 7.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks

The Oilers are in the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and beat the defending Western Conference champion Sharks in six games. The Ducks swept the Calgary Flames, although three games were decided by one goal. The Ducks, who edged the Oilers by a mere two points for the Pacific Division title, are the hottest team in hockey, unbeaten in regulation in their last 18 games (15-0- 3), which includes their four-game sweep of the Flames in the opening round. The Ducks were 2-1- 2 against the Oilers in the regular season, with Edmonton winning the last game 3-2 in overtime April 1 in Edmonton. The Ducks led the NHL during the regular season with a 54.7 percent faceoff winning percentage. Edmonton was 30th in the NHL with a 47.0 faceoff winning percentage during the regular season; they were slightly better against the Sharks, winning 47.2 percent. Prediction: Ducks, who are -130 on the series line, in six.

NY Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators

New York is a -115 series favorite. The Rangers upset the Atlantic Division champion Montreal Canadiens in the first round, while Ottawa eliminated Boston in six games. It’s hard not to root for Ottawa, which has goaltender Craig Anderson, who on Monday was named a finalist for the Bill Masterton Trophy. There’s also captain Erik Karlsson, who played with two hairline fractures in his left heel and had six assists and a plus-3 rating in a 4-2 series win against the Bruins. Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist proved in the first round against the Canadiens that he’s still a world-class goaltender, posting a 1.70 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage. The Senators won the season series 2-1- 0, outscoring the Rangers 8-5. The second Senators win came on the last weekend of the season, with the Rangers having already wrapped up their wild-card spot. The pick: Rangers in 6.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals

Washington is a -140 series favorite. The marquee matchup of the second round and a rematch of last year’s conference semifinals won by Pittsburgh in six. It’s Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin. In 13 head-to-head games in the postseason, Ovechkin has 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) to Crosby’s 15 (eight goals, seven assists). But Crosby has two series victories, and the Penguins have gone on to win the Cup each time. Ovechkin has never been past the second round. The winner here probably wins the Stanley Cup. This could be the series the Kris Letang and Matt Murray injuries will catch up to the Penguins. The Capitals are deeper, healthier and have the better goalie. Both teams can claim two wins in their four- game regular season series, but both Capitals’ losses to the Penguins came in overtime. The pick: Capitals in six.