NHL Playoffs 2022: Odds, Hot Takes, Top Storylines for May 5 Schedule

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 5, 2022

DENVER, CO - MAY 03: from left to right, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8), Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92), Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) and Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) celebrate a goal credited to Landeskog again the Nashville Predators in the second period of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs at Ball Arena May 03, 2022. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche proved why they are the Stanley Cup favorites with a dominant performance in Game 1 of their first-round series with the Nashville Predators.

And Colorado will likely produce more of the same in Thursday's Game 2 inside Ball Arena.

Nashville was outmatched in Game 1, and it will still be at a disadvantage without goalie Juuse Saros, who was ruled out for the first two games because of a lower-body injury.

Nathan MacKinnon, Nazem Kadri and the rest of the Avalanche offense could take control of the series with another strong showing.

Colorado and the three other teams up 1-0 going into Thursday will try to avoid the fates of Wednesday's 1-0 leaders. Three of the four series to complete two games are tied 1-1. The Carolina Hurricanes are the only squad with a 2-0 lead after Wednesday.

The Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado all have a chance to go up two games. Pittsburgh's task may be the hardest since it is playing on the road and has to recover from a three-overtime battle with the New York Rangers in hostile territory.


May 5 NHL Playoff Odds

Pittsburgh (+140; bet $100 to win $140) at New York Rangers (-160; bet $160 to win $100) (Over/Under 5.5)

Washington (+215) at Florida (-260) (Over/Under: 6.5)

Nashville (+310) at Colorado (-400) (Over/Under: 6.5)

Dallas (+190) at Calgary (-240) (Over/Under: 5.5)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.


Hot Takes and Top Storylines

Colorado Cruises Past Nashville Again

Game 1 between the Avalanche and Predators was over before the first period ended.

Colorado blitzed the Nashville goal for five goals in 20 minutes, two of which occurred in the opening three minutes.

The Avalanche made a statement about their Stanley Cup intentions right off the bat, and we will likely see another dominant showing in Game 2.

Nashville's backup goalies were no match for the 45-shot onslaught from the home side. David Rittich was chased after conceding five goals. Connor Ingram was not terrible, but he still gave up two goals on 32 shots. Ingram might have earned the starting spot in net for Nashville based on his Game 1 performance, but he entered a very different game.

The Avalanche will try to get off to a similar start to lift the crowd and to demoralize the Nashville defense.

Colorado's stars should once again be the focal point for the slew of chances. MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar both had three points in Game 1, while captain Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist.

Kadri could break out with a goal or two to compound Nashville's struggles. He had an assist and two shots in Game 1.

Colorado should play with an overwhelming amount of confidence that should lead to a second straight blowout win and the most commanding lead in the first round.


Pittsburgh, NY Rangers Struggle After 3-Overtime Battle

The lowest-scoring game on Thursday's slate is likely to come from Madison Square Garden.

The Penguins and Rangers played deep into the third overtime in Game 1, and they have not had a lot of time to recover from it.

Pittsburgh won Game 1 4-3, but the contest was much tighter than the scoreline suggests. Five of the seven goals came in the second period, with the Eastern Conference sides going one period and two overtimes without finding the back of the net.

The extra fatigue and the defensive play on show in Game 1 appear to be a recipe for a low-scoring contest.

Little to no scoring can be expected in games after overtime thrillers. For example, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets combined for four goals in 2020 after their first-round series opener went five overtimes.

New York should have the advantage behind Igor Shesterkin, who is the only healthy starting goalie in the series. Pittsburgh is without Tristan Jarry and could be missing Casey DeSmith, who is listed as day-to-day after suffering an injury in Game 1.

The Rangers could take over Game 2 if Shesterkin performs well and their offense takes advantage of the small errors from DeSmith or Louis Domingue.


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