NHL Playoffs 2022: Odds, Hot Takes, Top Storylines for May 20 Schedule

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIMay 20, 2022

NHL Playoffs 2022: Odds, Hot Takes, Top Storylines for May 20 Schedule

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    Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

    The Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames were both victorious on their home ice on Wednesday. Now, they'll each have an opportunity to take a 2-0 lead in their respective series on Friday. And if that happens, the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers could be in some trouble.

    In Game 1 of the Hurricanes-Rangers series, Carolina was held scoreless for the first 57 minutes and 37 seconds of the game. Then, Sebastian Aho tied things up with a late goal, and the Hurricanes went on to win on Ian Cole's goal 3:12 into overtime.

    The Flames and Oilers played a wild Game 1 with a ton of offense. Matthew Tkachuk had a hat trick, including each of Calgary's final two goals in a 9-6 victory. The two teams were tied at 6 early in the third period before the Flames surged late.

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

Friday Schedule, Odds

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    Game 2: New York Rangers (+150; bet $100 to $150) at Carolina Hurricanes (-175; bet $175 to win $100), 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Game 2: Edmonton Oilers (+150) at Calgary Flames (-175), 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Hurricanes Will Use Momentum from Game 1 to Power a Sweep

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    Chris Seward/Associated Press

    The Rangers were two minutes and 23 seconds away from a Game 1 win. If they could have shut out the Hurricanes to win the opener, it could have been a huge statement to open the series. Instead, New York couldn't close it out.

    Carolina won all four of its home games against the Boston Bruins in the first round, so it still hasn't lost at PNC Arena this postseason. And it seems likely that the Hurricanes are going to continue to play well there.

    There's a good chance that Carolina is going to keep its momentum going and win Game 2. Goaltender Antti Raanta played well in the opener, tallying 27 saves and holding New York scoreless for the final 52:53. And the Hurricanes' offense may get going following their late surge in Game 1.

    It helps that Carolina is getting production from a large number of players on the offensive end of the ice.

    "Teams that win, you see a lot of guys get on the scoresheet," Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck said, per Aaron Beard of the Associated Press.

    That could make it difficult for New York to slow Carolina, especially once the Hurricanes really get rolling. But if Carolina is going to end this series quickly, it will need to play better away from home after dropping all three of its road games in Boston in the first round.

    The Hurricanes should keep playing well when this series shifts to New York, and as the better team, they could be on their way to a sweep. Don't be surprised if Carolina wins the next three games to advance.

Oilers Will Bounce Back by Playing Better on Defense

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    The Oilers had some positives to take out of their Game 1 loss. They were down 5-1 early in the second period, but they kept pushing on offense. Because of that, Edmonton tied the game at 6-6 when Kailer Yamamoto scored a goal 1:28 into the third period.

    But it's challenging to win a game in which you allow nine goals like the Oilers did. Starting goaltender Mike Smith had a tough start, allowing three goals in the first 6:05, then Mikko Koskinen gave up five goals, including three in the final 17:03.

    "We fought back and made it a game, but we can't feel good about that in any way because we scored six goals in a game and found a way to not win it," Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said, per the Associated Press.

    In Game 2, the Oilers are likely to keep playing well on offense. Leon Draisaitl (six goals this postseason) and Connor McDavid (five) continue to lead the way, and they're talented enough to keep powering Edmonton's offense throughout this series.

    Whether it's Smith or Koskinen in the net for Game 2, the Oilers should fare better defensively. Smith had a pair of shutouts against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, so he's capable of much better performances.

    It'll be a challenge to slow Calgary's offense, but expect Edmonton to do it enough to win Game 2 and even this series before it heads home for Games 3 and 4.


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