After two exhilarating games, the Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames came out on top though not without some fight from their opponents, the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers, respectively. The NHL betting odds have the home teams, Carolina and Calgary as the favorites again. Do we pick if we can trust them to deliver again or are we in for some upsets?
Day two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs' Conference Semi-finals had two of the most exciting games for different reasons, and it would be tough for the Game 2s to live up to it. But by the best NHL betting sites, there is plenty to be excited about as we're banking on more high-scoring games and epic performances with our NHL playoff picks for March 20.
2022 Stanley Cup Conference Semi-Finals Picks: Excitement Continues
Just like Game 1, the home teams have the edge per the online sports betting odds here. However, both the Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames didn't get by without some issues. The Hurricanes needed a late-game comeback to win in overtime while the Flames surrendered six goals. With the odds still moving towards our home favorites, which teams can go up 2-0?
|Away Team||Home Team|
|New York Rangers||+145||-170||Carolina Hurricanes|
|Edmonton Oilers||+145||-154||Calgary Flames|
New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes (Game 2)
The Carolina Hurricanes proved why they are one of our best bets to win the Stanley Cup per our NHL Playoff Picks. After surrendering an early goal, the Hurricanes said "game on!" and clamped the Rangers. Igor Shesterkin kept New York in it, but Sebastian Aho tied the game, and Ian Cole won it quickly in overtime. The Hurricanes move to 5-0 at the PNC Arena where they also have the third-best record among the remaining playoff teams.
Carolina plays disciplined hockey, which will limit the Rangers' offense as they rely on the power play. On 5v5, the Hurricanes are a tier above their visitors as they controlled the puck and outchanced the Rangers. Most notably, Antti Raanta stared Shesterkin in the eye and matched his excellent play. As one of the most consistent teams, bank on the Hurricanes to keep rolling in what should be a more convincing win this time.
While the previous game had goals that were few and far between, we predict Game 2 to return more towards the high-scoring affairs that both teams have been used to these playoffs. The total has gone over in seven of New York's eight playoff games and six of Carolina's.
While scoring has generally been harder when these teams meet, the Rangers' sloppy defense, paired with Carolina's ability to generate constant scoring chances, could just break Shesterkin. On the other end, the Rangers are one of the best teams at finishing, so they should get a few of their own.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames (Game 2)
The Battle of Alberta did not disappoint as Game 1 quickly turned into the "Wild West" with a whopping 15 goals scored, the most in any playoff game in nearly 30 years. This is the most goals Calgary has allowed since April 14 against Vegas and is only the fifth time this season the team has coughed up more than five goals. For Edmonton, the last time they allowed these many goals was the last time they were in Calgary.
Flames get a goal!
Oilers get a goal!
EVERYBODY GETS A GOAL 🗣 pic.twitter.com/dpYuZa4aqU
— ESPN (@espn) May 19, 2022
Even if Calgary is one of the stingiest teams in the league - they allow the third-fewest goals at home on average - their games against Edmonton tend to go off the rails defensively. The total has gone over in four of these teams' last five meetings. The average total in these five games has been 9.8 goals. Even if this is unsustainable, the electric energy in the Saddledome should push these rivals to continue firing.
As for who's going to come out on top, we're banking on Calgary to do it again. The odds have shortened on the Flames by a little, but it's a good sign for them that giving up six goals to Connor McDavid and co. still resulted in a three-goal victory. Calgary has more depth, better defensemen, and a much better goaltender even if Jakob Markstrom "plays down". The NHL Stanley Cup betting odds do Calgary no justice.
The Flames are also 5-1 in their last six home games against the Oilers. More notably, Calgary owned Edmonton for the most part. The home team outshot their visitors by 20, and the Flames' top line was outshooting the entire Oilers team for an entire period. Calgary gets this one done despite their Game 2 woes.