NHL Playoffs 2022: Odds, Hot Takes, Top Storylines for June 2 Schedule

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIJune 2, 2022

DENVER, CO - MAY 31: Colorado Avalanche players celebrate after a second period goal by right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) during a Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Finals game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on May 31, 2022. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers have been the top two offensive teams in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, so it came as no surprise that Game 1 of the Western Conference Final featured 14 goals, five of which came in the first period and six in the second.

It also wasn't a shock that the Avalanche jumped out to a 1-0 lead with an 8-6 win on their home ice. Colorado has been the best in the West all season, and it has enough offensive power to keep pace with an Edmonton team that has several of the top scorers this postseason.

Now, the Oilers will look to even the series before it shifts to Edmonton when the two teams meet again at Ball Arena on Thursday night. The winner of this series will face the victor in the Eastern Conference Final, in which the New York Rangers took a 1-0 lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

Here's everything you need to know heading into Game 2 of the Western Conference Final.


Thursday Schedule, Odds

Game 2: Edmonton Oilers (+155; bet $100 to win $155) at Colorado Avalanche (-180; bet $180 to win $100), 8 p.m. ET, TNT

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


Avalanche Win Game 2 by At Least 3 Goals

In Game 1, the Avalanche led by as many as four goals. But the Oilers didn't allow them to pull away, as they cut their deficit to one when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored with seven minutes and 24 seconds remaining in the contest.

There's the potential for Game 2 to be much different. This time, the Avs may build a big lead and keep Edmonton from getting close late. However, in order for that to happen, they may need to get back goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who exited Game 1 with an upper-body injury.

Colorado head coach Jared Bednar didn't reveal much regarding the 32-year-old's Game 2 availability, telling reporters, "We'll see."

Kuemper didn't have his best showing in Game 1, allowing three goals in 27:19 of ice time, but he's been strong throughout the playoffs. He should have better showings the rest of the series, though, as long as he's healthy.

Regardless of who's in the net for Colorado, its offense will continue to power the team to success. The Avalanche are the only side in the NHL scoring more goals per game than the Oilers this postseason, and they had no trouble getting the puck past Mike Smith, who allowed six goals in the opener before being replaced by Mikko Koskinen.

There's a chance the Oilers will pivot and start the Finn, but things could go differently for him if he's in from the start against Colorado's high-powered attack.

Still, Bednar thinks Game 2 could be a different type of matchup than the series opener.

"I would expect it to tighten up because I'm sure they're feeling the same way," he said, per Pat Graham of the Associated Press. "You're not going to win a lot of playoff games when you give up six or seven."

The Avalanche shouldn't give up that many goals again, but they could score that many of their own. So don't be surprised if they control Game 2 from the start and use that momentum to roll to a resounding victory.

Edmonton is a strong team, but Colorado is better. And that's going to continue to show as the Western Conference Final progresses.

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