The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Semifinals started this past Saturday night on August 22. Heading into Monday, we’ve already witnessed a major upset. We’ll start with that Game 1 upset before discussing the other series in the second round. Let’s get right into action so you can set down your bets against their NHL odds.
NHL Playoff Betting Preview for 2nd Round: Highlights, Favorites, Underdogs
West 2nd Round
Dallas Stars vs Colorado Avalanche
Before Game 1 against the Dallas Stars, Colorado was one of the top choices to win the Stanley Cup. They offered +375 odds to win Lord Stanley’s hardware.
Based on how the Avalanche had blitzed the Coyotes 4 games to 1 in the first round, it made sense. But Dallas doesn’t apparently read press on their opponents.
The Stars, 4-1 series victors against the Calgary Flames in Round 1, upset Colorado 5-3 on Saturday night. Dallas had begun to push the pace on the offensive end.
It worked on August 22. Don’t expect the Avalanche to turn things around just yet. Starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer has been ruled out of Game 2. The longer Grubauer sits, the more of an advantage Dallas has.
Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas is the chalk to win the Stanley Cup. If their Sunday performance in Game 1 versus the upset-minded Vancouver Canucks is any indication, the Golden Knights should roll in the second round.
Vegas dominated Vancouver 5-0. They outshot the Canucks 39-26, had 3 power play opportunities to Vancouver’s 1, and provided 54 hits to the Canucks 45. It was domination from beginning to end.
East 2nd Round
Boston Bruins vs Tampa Bay Lightning
In what many believe will be the competitive series in Round 2, the Boston Bruins managed a tough 3-2 win. Bruins right-winger David Pasternak had a goal and an assist.
Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman scored both of the Lightning’s goals. So, the key for Tampa could be to get their frontline going. Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn must get into a rhythm.
There’s no reason why the Lightning shouldn’t make this a 7-match series. Tampa outshot Boston 37-31. A few adjustments could help the Lightning win Game 2 on Tuesday.
New York Islanders vs Philadelphia Flyers
The series starts on Monday, August 24.
Philadelphia got past the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 in Round 1. The Flyers are a favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
They’re not much more of a favorite than the Islanders, though. Philadelphia struggled against Montreal while the Islanders beat the Flyers in the last three head-to-head matchups: 5-3 on Oct. 27, 4-3 in a shootout on Nov. 16, and 5-3 on Feb. 11.
Also, the New York Islanders dominated the Washington Capitals 4-1 in the first round. This series, like Bruins-Lightning, projects to go seven games.