NHL Playoffs Opening Night Betting Preview: Storylines to Consider

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NHL Playoffs Opening Night Betting Preview: Storylines to Consider
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At gambling.com, we have finally made it to the NHL playoffs. 

Six-plus months, a grueling 82-game schedule, and lots of chaos later have gotten us to this point. Now begins an eight-week, four-round gauntlet to determine this year’s champion. So let's look at how we pick the opening round series to help with your Stanley Cup playoff betting

Schedule Breakdown

Simply, here is tonight’s breakdown of games. 

  • New York Islanders at Carolina Hurricanes - 7 p.m. ET
  • Florida Panthers at Boston Bruins - 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars - 9:30 p.m. ET
  • Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers – 10 p.m. ET

The good news is that the schedule is easier to follow. Back-to-back games are a thing of the past for the most part. 

Also, there is no more shootout. Overtime is played until someone scores a goal. Sudden death truly, at its finest, greets fans and bettors alike.   

Injury Reports Are Vague

Unless someone is feeling generous, injury reports are vague. However, it is essential to keep an eye on the latest news. Is a player sick? Does someone have a dreaded lower-middle-upper body injury? Hey, these things can happen. 

For example, Patrice Bergeron is battling some sort of upper-body issue and maybe the flu or “bug.” Sam Bennett, from Florida, has a lower-body injury and is considered questionable for tonight. 

Going forward, the goal is to watch as much of what is going on and off the ice. Picking up on players who may not be 100% is more importing wagering-wise this time of year than any other. After all, it is the playoffs.

ESPN And ESPN 2 Take The Puck Tonight

Monday gives us ESPN 2 for the 7 and 9:30 games. Then, the 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. contests are on ESPN. Keep in mind overtime will cause games to go on overflow channels. Check locally to see if your team is playing first. 

New York Islanders at Carolina Hurricanes

Can the return of Mathew Barzal negate the Carolina Hurricanes’ strong forecheck? Carolina showed how much of a beast they can be at home in the playoffs. The last time these two teams faced off in the postseason was in 2019, as Carolina swept New York. 

Carolina not having Andrei Svechnikov is enormous, but the Hurricanes will still force the action on Ilya Sorokin. Sorokin must perform better on the road if New York expects to have any chance in this series. 

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Florida Panthers at Boston Bruins

Boston won 65 games. Now, that is all which needs to be said. The Bruins look to start their own version of history tonight at home against Florida. Meanwhile, the Panthers will try to spoil the party. Florida has an offense capable of frustrating Boston at times. It will come down to goaltending. Can Alex Lyon or Sergei Bobrovsky stop enough shots from putting fear in the Bruins? 

If not, this is a very short series. Boston can roll four lines and score with any of them. This year, they are far more than David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand. 

Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars

One of the closest series on paper may be Minnesota and Dallas. Dallas is a mere -140 moneyline betting favorite to win the series, and many feel it could go the distance. Home ice could be crucial in this series more than any other. 

Jake Oettinger expects to go up against Filip Gustavsson in goal. However, could Marc-Andre Fleury make an appearance? Anything is possible. Dallas holds a special team's edge and experience in goaltending. However, Minnesota has a knack for extending series and has the firepower with Kirill Kaprizov.

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Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers

Can Los Angeles slow down one of the most high-octane offenses in the league? The Edmonton Oilers led the NHL with 325 goals. Also, Edmonton had three 100-point scorers and a power play that converted at a league-high 32.36%. Simply, the Kings cannot take penalties. However, acquiring Mattias Ekholm allowed the Oilers to take more chances with their defense.

If Joonas Korpisalo cannot hold the Kings in games, this series may not last long. He must be the Kings’ best penalty-killer and stopper. From there, Los Angeles needs a healthy Kevin Fiala and Gabe Villardi back and producing. 

Some NHL Playoff Wagers To Consider Placing Opening Night

  • If one is confident in Boston tonight at home, the puckline is +115 for Boston to win by two or more goals.
  • The under in Dallas is at -120, but it could be worth it. The last few matchups have combined for five goals each.
  • Sebastian Aho (CAR) anytime goal prop is at +140. Brock Nelson (NYI) is at +200.
  • Edmonton and those McDavid and Draisaitl power play props are in play.
  • Look at individual player props tonight. See how they move before betting on them.
  • David Pastrnak's prop to score two or more goals is at +375. That could be worth a small wager bet.   

Good luck, and once again, thanks for reading! We will carry some more plays on social media as conditions warrant.

Thanks to BetMGM for their help.

Updated by GDC - Icon - Black - Info

Chris Wassel

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