0 out of 3
Karl B. DeBlaker/Associated Press
The second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is now underway. On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning opened their series against the Florida Panthers with a win, while the Colorado Avalanche took a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues with an overtime win.
Now it’s time for the other two round two series to begin. On Wednesday, the Carolina Hurricanes take on the New York Rangers while the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers go head-to-head.
The Hurricanes and Flames finished second in their respective conferences during the regular season, but they each played seven games in their first-round streak. Carolina held off the Boston Bruins while Calgary defeated the Dallas Stars. The competition will only get tougher from here.
Here’s a look at Wednesday’s schedule, along with odds, predictions and storylines to watch.
1 of 3
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
Game 1: New York Rangers (+145; bet $100 to win $145) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (-165; bet $165 to win $100), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 1: Edmonton Oilers (+140) v Calgary Flames (-160), 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
NHL Odds” target=”_blank”>DraftKings Sportsbook
2 out of 3
Karl B. DeBlaker/Associated Press
When the Hurricanes opened their first-round series against the Bruins by winning Games 1 and 2 by a total of 10-3, it seemed like it wasn’t going to be a contest. However, Boston won three of the next four contests to win a full seven games.
However, Carolina clinched a 3-2 win in Game 7 and now it’s round two. The Hurricanes will now try to have more success against the Rangers. During the regular season, Carolina went 3-1 with New York, which included victories in the last two matchups on April 12 and April 26.
“We played them not that long ago, I don’t think the teams change that much,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said, according to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen. “It gets them where they are. That’s why they’re successful. I think both teams understand what the other team is trying to do. It’s all about execution.”
And there’s a good chance Carolina will do better than they did in the first round. The Hurricanes might have had a close run against the Bruins, but don’t expect it to be the same against the Rangers.
Carolina goalkeeper Antti Raanta has played well while Frederik Andersen was out with a lower body injury and he could make it difficult for New York to get going offensively. Because of this, the Hurricanes will win Game 1 on their home ice, then keep the momentum and pull off a win streak without going the full distance.
It will be the first time Carolina has progressed through the second round since 2019, when they reached the Eastern Conference Finals.
3 out of 3
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
For the first time since 1991, the Flames and Oilers will meet in the playoffs. And it has the potential to become a competitive back-and-forth series that could go either way.
“Obviously, there’s a rivalry between the two cities that goes back several years, and it’s not just in the sport of hockey,” Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said, according to NHL.com’s Tracey Myers. “Everyone is happy about it. What I see for us are two good hockey teams who will get the opportunity to fight for the third round of the playoffs.”
While both teams are strong, the Flames have home advantage for the series. But that can’t stop the Oilers from being successful. In fact, the prediction here is that Edmonton will win and advance even if it takes six or seven games to do so.
The Oilers were down 2-3 in their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings but won Games 6 and 7 by a 6-2 aggregate. That could help them build momentum, especially if forward Leon Draisaitl is healthy after playing Game 7 against the Kings.
Regardless, Connor McDavid will power Edmonton’s offense, and goaltender Mike Smith (who had two shutouts in the first round) could play a role against Calgary. The Oilers will likely need to generate a lot of shots to score against Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom, but that may not be an issue.
Edmonton will start off on the right foot by winning Game 1 in Calgary and don’t be surprised if they pick up another away win or two in the series.
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