The Western Conference playoff picture could be turned on its head over the next few days. Three of the four series are tied at 2-2, including the ones involving the two main Western Conference favorites per the NHL futures odds. Both the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche are in need of a win in Game 5, or else they will face the prospect of elimination. However, in the Eastern Conference, division winners Boston and Carolina will look to become the first two teams to advance to the second round. The Hurricanes will have their opportunity to advance on Tuesday night, and the Bruins will look to punch their ticket on Wednesday night against the Florida Panthers.
NHL Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook
Boston Bruins -1.5 (+116) vs. Florida Panthers
While the Florida Panthers ended their regular season on a high note in order to edge out the Pittsburgh Penguins for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, it’s clear that they are no match for the Boston Bruins. Boston has won all three of its games in this series by multiple goals, and that led to Florida making the decision to start Sergei Bobrovsky over Alex Lyon in net in Game 4. Bobrovsky wasn’t good though, allowing five goals on 30 shots, and he has an .846 save percentage.
Boston’s attack is just too good even with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci sidelined. Bergeron has yet to play in the playoffs, while Krejci has missed the last two games with an injury. Both players could return for Game 5 on Wednesday night, and that would give the Bruins an even bigger edge.
It’s even more impressive to see what the Bruins are doing considering the leading goal scorer is Taylor Hall with four goals. Tyler Bertuzzi and Jake DeBrusk are the other leading point scorers for the Bruins at this point, but regular season leaders David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand have made an impact too.
Meanwhile, the Panthers have been reliant on Matthew Tkachuk. He is one of three players with multiple goals on the Panthers, and he leads Florida with five points. Tkachuk was fined $5,000 for his antics in Game 4 that led to a game misconduct but is trying to rally his team after a moribund performance.
Unfortunately, Florida just doesn’t have the talent to stick with Boston. No one else on the Panthers had more than 80 points other than Tkachuk during the regular season, and only three other players scored more than 20 goals.
We’ve seen the Seattle Kraken give the defending Stanley Cup champions all they can handle through four games. Seattle leveled the series at 2-2 in Game 4 on Monday night after Jordan Eberle broke a 2-2 tie in overtime. The Kraken have already proven they can win in Colorado in this series, and they will look to do it again on Wednesday night.
There isn’t a lot of star power on Seattle. Eberle is one of three players that finished with over 60 points alongside Jared McCann and Vince Dunn. The Kraken will have to get the job done on Wednesday night without McCann too after he took a very questionable hit from Colorado’s Cale Makar. While Makar may be suspended as a result of the play, the potential loss doesn’t even out considering McCann’s importance to the Kraken.
Still, there’s no reason for Seattle to be this much of an underdog by the NHL betting odds in Game 5. I’ve continually noted the disrespect the oddsmakers have shown the upstart Kraken since winning Game 1, and you’ve been rewarded if you have gone against the Avalanche. Colorado is continuing to have problems in net as Alexander Georgiev is carrying a 2.99 GAA and a .908 save percentage through four games, and the defenders haven’t been a big help outside of the top pairing.
Additionally, the Avalanche have scored just one power play goal in 10 opportunities. Colorado’s inability to score with the man advantage makes it a no brainer to back Seattle on the puck line given the current price available at BetRivers Sportsbook