NHL Playoffs 2022: Odds, Hot Takes, Top Storylines for May 18 Schedule

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIMay 18, 2022

NHL Playoffs 2022: Odds, Hot Takes, Top Storylines for May 18 Schedule

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    Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

    The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is now underway. On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning opened their series against the Florida Panthers with a win, while the Colorado Avalanche took a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues with an overtime victory.

    Now, it's time for the other two second-round series to begin. On Wednesday, the Carolina Hurricanes will take on the New York Rangers, while the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will face off.

    The Hurricanes and Flames finished second in their respective conferences during the regular season, but they each went seven games in their first-round series. Carolina held off the Boston Bruins, while Calgary defeated the Dallas Stars. The competition will only get tougher from here.

    Here's a look at Wednesday's schedule, along with odds, predictions and storylines to watch.

Wednesday Schedule, Odds

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Game 1: New York Rangers (+145; bet $100 to win $145) at Carolina Hurricanes (-165; bet $165 to win $100), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Game 1: Edmonton Oilers (+140) at Calgary Flames (-160), 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Odds via NHL" target="_blank">DraftKings Sportsbook

The Hurricanes Will Win Game 1, Cruise to Series Victory

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    Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

    When the Hurricanes opened their first-round series vs. the Bruins by winning Games 1 and 2 by a combined score of 10-3, it seemed like it wasn't going to be a competitive matchup. However, Boston won three of the next four contests to take it a full seven games.

    Carolina pulled out a 3-2 win in Game 7, though, and it's now on to the second round. The Hurricanes will now look to have more success against the Rangers. During the regular season, Carolina went 3-1 against New York, which included wins in the two most recent matchups on April 12 and April 26.

    "We just played them not too long ago, I don't think teams are changing too much," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said, per NHL.com's Dan Rosen. "It's got them where they're at. That's why they're successful. I think both teams understand what the other team is trying to do. It always comes down to execution."

    And there's a good chance that Carolina will execute better than it did during the first round. The Hurricanes may have had a close series against the Bruins, but don't expect that to again be the case vs. the Rangers.

    Carolina goaltender Antti Raanta has been playing well while Frederik Andersen has been out with a lower-body injury, and he could make it difficult for New York to get going offensively. Because of that, the Hurricanes will win Game 1 on their home ice, then keep the momentum and notch a series win without having to go the full distance.

    It'll be the first time Carolina makes it past the second round since 2019, when it reached the Eastern Conference Final.

Road Games Won't Stop the Oilers from Beating the Flames

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    For the first time since 1991, the Flames and Oilers are meeting in the playoffs. And it has the potential to be a competitive, back-and-forth series that could go either way.

    "Obviously, there's a rivalry between the two cities that goes back multiple years, and not just in the sport of hockey," Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said, per NHL.com's Tracey Myers. "Everyone's excited about that. For us, what I see is two good hockey teams that are going to get the opportunity to compete to head to the third round of the playoffs."

    While both teams are strong, the Flames will have home-ice advantage for the series. But that may not stop the Oilers from having success. In fact, the prediction here is that Edmonton is going to win and advance, even if it takes six or seven games for it to do so.

    The Oilers were down 3-2 in their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings, but they won Games 6 and 7 by a combined score of 6-2. That could help them begin to build momentum, especially if forward Leon Draisaitl is healthy after being able to play Game 7 vs. the Kings.

    Regardless, Connor McDavid will power Edmonton's offense, and goaltender Mike Smith (who had two shutouts in the first round) could get on a roll against Calgary. The Oilers will likely need to generate a lot of shots to score against Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom, but that may not be a problem.

    Edmonton will start off on the right note by winning Game 1 in Calgary, and don't be surprised if it picks up another road win or two in this series.


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