NHL Playoffs: Thursday Night Preview
The second night of the NHL playoffs sees the puck drop on three more series and more opportunities appearing on the NHL playoff odds menus. Boston Bruins (+150 at Bovada) at Buffalo Sabres (-170) O/U 5 at Bovada The Bruins struggled through an injury-plagued season, but still managed to make it into the playoffs. To see how rough the Bruins’ season was just look at their stats. Boston’s scoring leaders were Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, each with 52 points. Boston’s lack of scoring punch could be a problem against Ryan Miller, arguably the best goalie in the league this season. The Sabres aren’t exactly stacked with goal scorers either, but Thomas Vanek could be heating up heading into the postseason after a four-goal game last week. Look for Miller to stonewall Boston to get the Sabres a win tonight.
Montreal Canadiens (+235 at Bovada) at Washington Capitals (-275) O/U 6 at Bovada There’s a pretty big discrepancy in goal scoring in this series. Washington netted a league-high 318 goals this season, just over 100 more than the 217 that Montreal scored. Clearly Canadiens netminder Jaroslav Halak will be an important figure in the series. The last time they clashed Montreal won a 6-5 goal-fest in overtime to snap the Capitals’ 14-game winning streak. A few important notes from that game is that Washington netted five goals, but Alexander Ovechkin had only two assists and Montreal had Carey Price in nets. It’s doubtful that the Canadiens will keep Ovechkin from finding the back of the net again as Washington takes a 1-0 series lead tonight.
Los Angeles Kings (+160 at Bovada) at Vancouver Canucks (-190) O/U 5.5 at Bovada Maybe the most important thing you need to know about tonight’s opener between the Kings and Canucks is that it’s being played in Vancouver. The Canucks were a phenomenal 30-8-3 at home this season, compared to 19-20-2 on the road. Vancouver was 3-1 against the Kings this season with two wins over them at home in which they outscored Los Angeles 7-2. We might have predicted the Kings to win the series in seven games, but the Canucks should draw first blood with a win tonight. The last time Roberto Luongo faced the Kings he was burned for eight goals. That was in Los Angeles, though. In two homes games against the Kings he allowed only two goals on 57 shots. Vancouver gets an early jump in the series tonight.