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The most exhilarating postseason in professional sports continues on Friday night, with four NHL playoff games split between the Eastern and Western conferences. Three of these four First Round series are knotted at one game apiece, while one team can take a 3-0 advantage with a win tonight.
Carolina took the first two games of their series with the Islanders on home ice, winning by a goal in both, including an overtime victory in Game 2. The Isles host the Hurricanes tonight as a slight favorite.
The top-seeded Boston Bruins were pummeled in Game 2 by the Panthers and now need to win at least one game in South Florida to reclaim home ice in the series. The B’s are the heaviest favorite of the evening (-155) to accomplish that goal on Friday.
In the West, Minnesota hosts Dallas at nearly even money odds. The Stars hung seven goals on Marc-Andre Fleury on Wednesday to even the series at one.
Finally, the highly anticipated Game 3 in the Edmonton-Los Angeles series will serve as the nightcap for Friday’s NHL playoff action. After an overtime loss to open the series, four different Oilers netted goals in Game 2 to level their first-round matchup before heading to LA. Edmonton is favored (-150) to take the series lead tonight.
We’ve surveyed the board and have three best bets for Friday’s schedule. Enjoy the action and best of luck!
Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Islanders
This total highlights the difference between the regular season and playoff hockey. These two teams played to a 2-1 final in Game 1 before a 4-3 overtime result on Wednesday and have the lowest number on the board tonight.
Over their last four years of postseason play, Carolina’s games have averaged 5.4 total goals per game compared to the league-wide mark of 5.7. On top of that, the Islanders scored the fewest regular-season goals of any team that qualified for the playoffs, while the ‘Canes allowed the second-fewest goals of postseason-bound franchises.
We anticipate the final score in this game will look more like the first of the series and will play the under.
Boston Bruins vs Florida Panthers
Florida is one of a very select group of teams to have beaten Boston as many times as they’ve fallen to them this season. Including four regular-season matchups, the Panthers have won three times, once in OT, and kept the goal differential between themselves and Boston to -1 in six games.
The Bruins are the team playing with all of the expectations and eyeballs, while Florida gets the luxury of handling their business without the weight of a record-setting season on their back.
We’ll take the Panthers to claim the lead in this series tonight and add to the pressure being heaped on Boston.
Edmonton Oilers vs Los Angeles Kings
At least one team has gotten to four goals in each game of this series, and we expect this to be the firework show that kicks off the weekend in the NHL postseason.
The Oilers were one of the hottest teams in the league entering the playoffs, and the Game 1 loss was a necessary wake-up call if they intend to translate that success to when it matters most.
Despite this being the highest total on the board, we find value in playing these teams to still go over.