NHL Playoffs 2022: Odds, Hot Takes, Top Storylines for May 24 Schedule
The first team has advanced past the second round of this year's NHL playoffs, with the Tampa Bay Lightning continuing their quest for a third straight Stanley Cup by reaching the Eastern Conference Final.
The Lightning completed a sweep of the Florida Panthers with a 2-0 win in Game 4 on Monday, but that is the only one of the four second-round series to end quickly.
On Tuesday, two teams will have an opportunity to move one win away from advancing. The Carolina Hurricanes have a 2-1 lead over the New York Rangers, while the Edmonton Oilers have the same advantage over the Calgary Flames.
Here's a look at Tuesday's schedule, along with odds, predictions and storylines to watch.
Tuesday Schedule, Odds
Game 4: Carolina Hurricanes (-105; bet $105 to win $100) at New York Rangers (-115), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4: Calgary Flames (-110) at Edmonton Oilers (-110), 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Hurricanes Will Win Game 4, End Series in Game 5
The Rangers weren't too happy at the end of Game 3, even though they beat the Hurricanes 3-1 for their first win of the series.
The two teams became embroiled in a scuffle at the end of the game, something that New York coach Gerard Gallant felt the Carolina players initiated, per Vin A. Cherwoo of the Associated Press.
So there could be more physical play in Tuesday's Game 4 as the Rangers try to even the series. However, if that leads to more penalties called on New York, it could work in the Hurricanes' favor.
If they are going to capitalize, though, they'll need to start playing better on the road. Through their first 10 games this postseason, Carolina is 6-0 at home and 0-4 away from PNC Arena.
And it would help the Hurricanes if they could get some offense going on power plays. They are 0-for-7 in the series, lowering their percentage during the playoffs to 11.6.
"One group's been actually very good creating a lot of chances," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "Our so-called top unit hasn't been very good. They're the ones that have really struggled."
After scoring only five goals through the first three games of this series, the Hurricanes are due to break out, so don't be surprised if that happens in Game 4 and leads to a win. At that point, they should have no trouble closing out the series back home in Game 5.
So, the prediction here is that Carolina will advance and face Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Final.
Oilers Will Keep Momentum, Move Closer to Series Win
The Oilers scored six goals in Game 1 against the Flames, and it was clear their offense was clicking. That's continued in Games 2 and 3, in which Edmonton scored five and four goals, respectively.
However, the team needs to play better on defense after allowing nine goals in its Game 1 loss. And it's clearly been better in that area in the past two contests after bouncing back to win 5-3 in Game 2 and 4-1 in Game 3.
After a strong showing on its home ice last time out, Edmonton will look to keep its momentum against Calgary and potentially take a 3-1 lead in Tuesday's Game 4. And if the Oilers continue to play strong defense, there's no reason to think they won't win again.
A big reason for Edmonton's success on that end of the ice has been the play of 40-year-old goaltender Mike Smith, who has a .933 save percentage in 10 games this postseason.
"For him to have the type of numbers that he has in these playoffs and for him to be able to contribute to our team in the manner that he's doing it, I think it's a credit to the person," Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said, per Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic.
Expect Smith to keep up his recent stellar play and Edmonton to provide more than enough offense to secure a Game 4 victory.
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