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Series Updates for Friday, April 21st
NHL scores were tiled on Thursday, as the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Golden Knights all skated away with decisive victories, but there was drama at the end, as the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Colorado Avalanche, erased a two-goal deficit and won the game 3-2 to even the series at one game a piece.
Toronto Maple Leafs tie series 1-1
Toronto totally flipped the script after their embarrassing loss in Game 1, dominating Game 2 and beating the Lightning. Tampa Bay’s defense corps was missing two key pieces, Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak, and the Maple Leafs took advantage, abusing the Lightning on the forecheck.
The Maple Leafs dominated the game from start to finish, leading 6-1 after 40 minutes, and won 7-2. The series now shifts back to Tampa Bay, and it’s obvious that the Lightning’s chances of winning the next two games will be impacted significantly by whether Hedman and/or Cernak are able to play.
Updated Series Probabilities:
Toronto Wins Series: 58%
- Maple Leafs Win 4-1: 15%
- Maple Leafs Win 4-2: 20.5%
- Maple Leafs Win 4-3: 22.5%
Tampa Bay Wins Series: 42%
- Lightning Win 4-1: 10%
- Lightning Win 4-2: 17%
- Lightning Win 4-3: 15%
New York Rangers lead series 2-0
New Jersey was outmatched in Game 1, and for a short time, it looked like they learned something. The Devils opened the scoring and entered the first intermission with a 1-0 lead. However, all of that was undone by the Rangers power play, which was given far too many opportunities to go to work.
The Devils were a great regular season team, but it has not translated to the playoffs and the chemistry that is developing between the Rangers’ top players means the Devils are likely going to continue to be outclassed. There’s now a 55 percent chance that the series will be over in four or five games.
New York has owned 60-plus percent of the expected goals in the series (all situations) and they've neutralized the Devils at even strength by taking away their speed through the middle of the ice. Vitek Vanecek played fine in Game 2, but the Devils just aren't anywhere close to where they need to be right now and they're taking far too many penalties. Honestly, 84 percent probably doesn't do the Rangers' justice here. The Devils look toast.
Updated Series Probabilities:
New York Rangers Win Series: 84%
- Rangers Win 4-0: 30%
- Rangers Win 4-1: 25%
- Rangers Win 4-2: 17%
- Rangers Win 4-3: 12%
New Jersey Devils Win Series: 38%
- Devils Win 4-2: 5%
- Devils Win 4-3: 11%
Side note: I debated taking Chris Kreider at 50/1 to win the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoff MVP, but ultimately decided that it would be too tough to outshine Igor Shesterkin and all the other stars on the team. Of course, Kreider scored two more goals in Game 2, and now has four in the playoffs. His odds of winning the Conn Smythe have dropped to 30/1 at DraftKings Sportsbook. I’m still looking for a Conn Smythe bet that checks all the boxes.
Vegas Golden Knights tie series 1-1
Game 2 started out the way Game 1 ended, with the Jets dominating possession and holding the Vegas Golden Knights to very few shots. That continued into the middle frame, but Vegas was able to push back in the third period and even the series by getting traffic in front of Connor Hellebuyck.
The Winnipeg goaltender has been nearly impossible to beat clean so far in the series, though, and scoring tip-ins and rebounds isn’t always going to work. The Jets have played a much more complete game so far in the series and they should be the favorite as the series shifts to Canada but they’re not.
Updated Series Probabilities:
Winnipeg Wins Series: 52%
- Jets Win 4-1: 14%
- Jets Win 4-2: 20%
- Jets Win 4-3: 18%
Vegas Wins Series: 48%
- Golden Knights Win 4-1: 11.5%
- Golden Knights Win 4-2: 17%
- Golden Knights Win 4-3: 19.5%
Top-to-bottom, the Jets are a better team than Vegas, and they’ve made that clear through the first two games. The Golden Knights have some talented shooters, but so does Winnipeg and they’re better on defense and special teams. I’m betting on the Jets, who are currently priced at -110, to win Game 3.
Bet: Winnipeg Jets (Game 3 Moneyline) -110
Colorado Avalanche tie series 1-1
For a minute, it looked like the Avalanche were going to go down 0-2 in the series after falling behind by two goals early in Game 2, but they battled back and won the game 3-2 and this series, like all the others in the Western Conference, is now even.
Seattle played another good game, though, and the series is a lot closer than expected. The Avalanche did finish the game with a 57 percent edge in expected goals and caved the Kraken in late in the game. The series now shifts to Seattle, and the Avalanche are back in the driver’s seat, with a 69 percent chance of winning.
Colorado Wins Series: 69%
- Avalanche Win 4-1: 22.5%
- Avalanche Win 4-2: 25%
- Avalanche Win 4-3: 21.5%
Seattle Wins Series: 31%
- Kraken Win 4-1: 6%
- Kraken Win 4-2: 12%
- Kraken Win 4-3: 13%
Seattle went 20-21 straight up at home this season and it’s hard not to think that they missed their best chance to win the series by failing to go up 2-0. Still, it’s tough to justify a bet on the favorite in these games since they have been so close. Colorado hasn’t been running away with the games, and that’s been the case all season long in this matchup.
Friday’s NHL Odds
Friday’s NHL schedule features four more great matchups. Visit VSiN NHL Odds to see the entire board.
- Carolina Hurricanes (+105) at New York Islanders (-125)
- Boston Bruins (-155) at Florida Panthers (+135)
- Dallas Stars (-115) at Minnesota Wild (-105)
- Edmonton Oilers (-150) at Los Angeles Kings (+130)
Will goaltender Filip Gustavsson be back between the pipes for the Wild? Did Patrice Bergeron travel to Florida and will be in the Bruins’ lineup? Hopefully the answers to those questions will be answered on the VSiN Hockey Betting Podcast later today. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.
All bets tracked via third part app Betstamp.