Tempers flare and goal-scoring gets hot as the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames look to even their series. New York is favored as a home team like the Edmonton Oilers though Game 4 has not boded well for hosts per Stanley Cup Playoffs history. We go through the NHL Playoffs and make our Conference Semi-Finals picks for May 24, which promise to be fun even beyond betting.
Revenge is on the menu as we head towards a pair of Game 4s for the NHL's 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We're not just going with NHL playoff picks here but looking at what could be two heated games for different reasons. The home teams, the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers are very slightly favored on the best NHL betting sites. But with tensions increasing, expect the unexpected.
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Game 4 is that pivotal moment in a playoff series. We either get a 2-2 tie thus restarting the series or the next game becomes an elimination game. Either way, expect all four teams to pick up the pace this Tuesday. Our NHL playoff picks from May 20 went 50-50 though we did correctly pick the tone of each game. With a bit more bad blood for Game 4, finding value in tighter lines can be done.
|Away Team||Home Team|
|New York Rangers||-105||-115||Carolina Hurricanes|
|Edmonton Oilers||-105||-115||Calgary Flames|
Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers (Game 4)
Game 3 was a backbreaker for the Carolina Hurricanes. They outshot, outchanced, and flat-out outplayed the New York Rangers. But of course, Igor freakin' Shesterkin was in the net as he turned aside 43 of their 44 shots as New York edged Carolina to come within one game of tying the series. To rub salt in the wound, Max Domi threw an ill-advised cheapshot, thus giving the Rangers more motivation.
max domi being rude pic.twitter.com/OF2Ud7Kq37
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) May 22, 2022
Game 4s as usually when the home team loses in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Based on the all-time records, home teams have only won 49% of Game 4s, which is the lowest in a seven-game series. So does this bode well for Carolina? It depends. The Hurricanes have been the superior team on the ice and look every bit like a favorite on the Stanley Cup betting odds. But they are not converting on their chances
Their scoring shooting percent is a paltry 4.9 percent on 5v5 and their special teams, especially their penalty-kill, is mediocre at best. If you're a fan of "regression", maybe Carolina gets a few more good bounces and blows out New York. But for our money, New York, the better team at finishing, edges Carolina and evens things up.
Scoring may be higher here too. The under has cashed in four of Carolina's last five games and in seven of these teams' last 10 meetings. But at some point, the scoring chances will start converting to goals, and at least one team's PP is bound to catch fire. Given the juicy plus number on the cover, it's worth a shot.
Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers (Game 4)
If you thought that little scuffle at the end of Carolina-New York was something, wait till you see the Edmonton Oilers retaliate against Milan Lucic and the Calgary Flames. Lucic took out Mike Smith in the third, which prompted a brawl. It wasn't the first time Lucic has taken a run out of a key player from the Oilers, as he hit Connor McDavid much harder earlier in the series.
Milan Lucic was given a five minute major along with a game misconduct for this incident.
Mike Smith left the game for concussion protocol but quickly returned in the third period. pic.twitter.com/6Ym9mVemy8
— ESPN (@espn) May 23, 2022
Lucic may have had the right idea, as Smith has been owning Calgary since getting pulled from Game 1. The 40-year-old has stopped 69 of the 73 he's faced resulting two wins for Edmonton. On the other end, the trio of McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Evander Kane are lighting up Jakob Markstrom.
The Vezina Trophy finalist is having a subpar series with an 85.3 save percentage. With his lackluster play, Calgary's once-vaunted defense is nowhere to be seen as Edmonton is averaging five goals in the series. Maybe Calgary picks it up in Game 4. But it's evident that Edmonton just has too much firepower for their provincial rivals. Bet on Edmonton or pass.
After three consecutive games of nothing but scoring, Game 4 finally brought both teams back to Earth. For the first time since March 7, neither team scored five or more goals. Edmonton, however, still managed to hit the four-goal mark. Four of their last six games have gone over the total, and we see the scoring picking back up.