NHL Playoffs 2021: Updated TV Schedule, Odds, Standings and Bracket Predictions

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMay 27, 2021

NHL Playoffs 2021: Updated TV Schedule, Odds, Standings and Bracket Predictions

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    Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    Two more teams advanced to the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday. However, another missed an opportunity to do so, leading to a winner-take-all Game 7.

    The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning each earned Game 6 wins to win their series (against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers, respectively) and move on. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild staved off elimination by beating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0, meaning the teams will meet again in a Game 7 matchup in Las Vegas on Friday night.

    Before then, two other teams could advance to the second round, as the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes will both be in action Thursday night with each a victory away from a series win.

    Here's a look at the upcoming playoff schedule, the latest Stanley Cup odds and predictions for how the remaining first-round series will unfold.

Upcoming TV Schedule

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    Thursday, May 27

    Game 5: No. 4 Montreal Canadiens at No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

    Game 6: No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes at No. 4 Nashville Predators, 9:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network


    Friday, May 28

    Game 7: No. 3 Minnesota Wild at No. 2 Vegas Golden Knights, 9 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Latest Stanley Cup Odds

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    Peter Power/Associated Press

    Colorado Avalanche: +235 (bet $100 to win $235)

    Toronto Maple Leafs: +475

    Boston Bruins: +500

    Tampa Bay Lightning: +500

    Carolina Hurricanes: +800

    Vegas Golden Knights: +1000

    New York Islanders: +1400

    Winnipeg Jets: +1600

    Minnesota Wild: +3200

    Nashville Predators: +15000

    Montreal Canadiens: +17500


    Via NHL" target="_blank">DraftKings Sportsbook.

Maple Leafs Will Move on with Game 5 Win

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    Peter Power/Associated Press

    The Maple Leafs are on a roll, mostly because of the stellar play of goaltender Jack Campbell. After losing Game 1 to Montreal, Toronto has bounced back with three straight victories, putting it one win away from the second round heading into Thursday's Game 5 on its home ice.

    Campbell notched his first shutout of the series in Game 4, which the Maple Leafs won 4-0. The 29-year-old has allowed only four goals through the first four games of the series (two of which came in a Game 1 loss) and has recorded 114 saves.

    "The guys just did a great job in front of me," Campbell said after Game 4, per The Athletic's Joshua Kloke. "We just stuck to our game plan."

    With Campbell playing so well, expect the Maple Leafs to end this series in Game 5. Toronto's offense has picked it up, scoring 11 goals over the past three games, and it's giving Campbell more than enough support. That should continue in a series that was expected to be a mismatch and is turning into just that.

Hurricanes Will Take Series with Game 6 Victory

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    Few would have expected the Hurricanes and Predators to need a Game 6. Carolina was expected to be a Stanley Cup contender, while Nashville barely made it into the playoffs, just about holding off the rest of the Central Division for the No. 4 seed.

    Yet the Predators rebounded from road losses in Games 1 and 2 to win Games 3 and 4 on their home ice, both in double overtime. But the pattern of home teams winning every game continued, as the Hurricanes bounced back to win 3-2 in OT.

    On Thursday, Carolina will look to become the first road team to win in the series. And if it's victorious in Nashville, it will move on to the second round. And with the way things are going, don't be surprised if it's another competitive game, perhaps even resulting in yet another contest that needs overtime.

    However, the Hurricanes are going to make sure this series doesn't return to their home ice for Game 7. Defenseman Jaccob Slavin returned from injury to lead them to victory in Game 5, and he should help that unit have another strong performance while winning Game 6.

Golden Knights Will Bounce Back to Win Decisive Game 7

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    Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    The first (and perhaps only) Game 7 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is set for Friday night. And with the Golden Knights and Wild continuing to trade blows, this matchup could go either way.

    Vegas had a 3-1 lead in the series, bouncing back from an overtime loss at home in Game 1 to win Games 2, 3 and 4. But Minnesota's offense picked back up in Games 5 and 6, as they won both games and scored a combined seven goals to even the series at three.

    Although the Golden Knights lost the last time they were on their home ice in Game 5, they should get a boost from what should be an electric atmosphere with their season on the line in Game 7.

    "We believe in our team," Vegas captain Mark Stone said, per Dave Campbell of the Associated Press. "We have one game in our home rink to move on. It's that simple."

    The Golden Knights know what they need to do, and that's just what they will do. They're a team that has experienced recent postseason success, and they will pull through a close game late.


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