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NHL picks: Lightning vs. Hurricanes, Golden Knights vs. Avalanche

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

June 8th, 2021

The Stanley Cup playoffs roll on this Tuesday night with a pair of semifinal Game 5s, and we’ll preview both matchups!

First, the Tampa Bay Lightning will try to close out their series with the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Then the Vegas Golden Knights and the Colorado Avalanche will break their 2-2 series tie at Ball Arena.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes, 6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN

Tue, June 8 2021, 10:30 PM

CAR Hurricanes

Moneyline

+100

Spread

+1.5

Total

O 5.5

TB Lightning

Moneyline

-121

Spread

-1.5

Total

U 5.5

The Hurricanes may be the more desperate of the two teams in this semifinals series, but the Lightning shouldn’t squander their chance to end things in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

Carolina dropped the first two games of this series at home despite going 20-3-5 at PNC Arena in the regular season. They outshot Tampa 38-30 and 32-15 in Games 1 and 2, respectively, but it didn’t matter in the end.

The ‘Canes were outshot 37-27 and 26-25, respectively, at Amalie Arena, suggesting that they’re really missing depth forwards Vincent Trocheck and Nino Niederreiter. Both players are listed as game-time decisions, but based on the way they’ve played this postseason (a combined total of four points in 14 games), they’re likely too hurt to make a difference except in the morale department.  

The Bolts’ power play has been incredibly potent in these playoffs, clicking at 41.2% over their first 10 games. Whether its Alex Nedeljkovic or Petr Mrazek in net for Carolina, expect Nikita Kucherov and company to excel with the man advantage and coast into the next round.

NHL pick: Lightning -121


Vegas Golden Knights vs Colorado Avalanche, 9:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN

Wed, June 9 2021, 1:00 AM

COL Avalanche

Moneyline

-148

Spread

-1.5

Total

O 5.5

VGS Golden Knights

Moneyline

+123

Spread

+1.5

Total

U 5.5

The home team has won each of the first four games of this series between the Golden Knights and the Avalanche, and bettors should not expect that trend to change on Tuesday night.

Colorado has won 13 straight in their own arena dating back to the regular season. In Games 1 and 2 of this series, they were afforded 11 total power play chances and cashed in on four of them. That 36.3% conversion rate is strong, especially considering that Vegas has one of the top penalty killing units in the NHL this year.

The Avs were held to one power play goal in just four opportunities on the road, but as the home team in Game 5, they’ll likely get more man advantage chances. Colorado bettors should also expect an improved effort from the top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen, which was held pointless in Game 4 while accounting for only five shots on goal.

NHL pick: Avalanche -148

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