Suffice to say, no matchup in Round 2 of this season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs has been a snooze. There have been big goals, even bigger saves – seriously, this has been the Postseason of the Goalie – and plenty of drama to keep everyone glued to their newsfeeds. That eight-goal period between the Hurricanes and Lightning on Saturday had crazy enough to have its own separate highlight reel from the rest of the league.
Two games are coming up on Sunday’s schedule that promise to keep fans on the edges of their seats, although for different reasons. Up across the northern border, the Montreal Canadiens are looking to continue their dominance over the Winnipeg Jets and win their sixth game in a row. Out in Sin City, the Colorado Avalanche are looking to rebound after fizzling late against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night.
Here are the top NHL betting picks – and how each one may shake out.
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Game 3: Jets (+115) at Canadiens (-135)
I’m not usually convinced a team will sweep a series, especially as we get deeper into the playoffs. That being said, the Canadiens appear to have a good chance of doing that with Games 3 and 4 coming up on a back-to-back on their home ice, starting with Sunday’s standoff.
Winnipeg just hasn’t been able to generate sustained offense through the first two games, regardless of whether they’ve had Mark Scheifele in the lineup or not (Scheifele will be serving the second game of his four-game suspension on Sunday). Even when the Habs played a little loose in Game 2 and Carey Price had to pick up the slack, the Jets struggled to create traffic in front of Montreal’s net and give themselves a chance to find the back of the net.
Now, Winnipeg bench boss Paul Maurice hasn’t yet revealed if scoring center Paul Stastny will return to the ice for Game 3 after being sidelined with an undisclosed injury. While Stastny’s return could give the Jets a little more offensive fuel, they would have to play like a completely different team to turn the tables on the Habs.
Game 4: Avalanche (-105) at Golden Knights (-115)
It isn’t surprising the Golden Knights are more favored after their late-game push in Game 3 turned into a 3-2 victory. But I wouldn’t hand Vegas the keys to the kingdom just yet.
Sure, Max Pacioretty and the rest of the Knights’ offense are clearly a more confident bunch after Friday’s game, and Marc-Andre Fleury continues to dazzle between the pipes. So, naturally, Vegas is looking to take control early in Sunday’s tilt and run away with the game.
Just don’t expect Colorado to give up Game 4 so easily.
As we discussed ahead of the series opener last weekend, the Avalanche are good at making adjustments. Sure, the two goals the Knights scored with less than six minutes remaining in Game 3 didn’t give Colorado a whole lot of time to regroup and rebound. However, they are likely extra fueled for redemption after coach Jared Bednar had some very harsh words for his superstar players during his post-game presser.
It isn’t likely Game 4 will be a blowout like Game 1, so anticipate another one-goal game that comes down to the wire. Heck, we may see a repeat of Game 2 and get a super speedy matchup that heads into overtime. The Golden Knights may be favored to win this one, but the Avalanche are poised to have a comeback performance.
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Chelena Goldman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Chelena, check out her archive and follow her @ChelenaGoldman.
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