NHL Playoffs Round 1: Free NHL Picks Today for Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

NHL Playoffs Round 1: Free NHL Picks Today for Wednesday, May 11th, 2022
Wed 11th May 2022

We have loved the action throughout this impressive NHL season and now it’s the time everyone has been waiting for – playoffs time! It is sure to be a cracking playoffs this season with many high quality teams looking to stop the Tampa Bay Lightning from winning the Stanley Cup for a third time in a row. But before we get to the Stanley Cup final, teams must make it through the first round.

Here at SportsTips, we are just as keen on the NHL as you are! We spend each and every day going through the best games and previewing them for you. Our experts offer up their free NHL picks, which means that you not only get enjoyment out of watching some intriguing games, but also make extra cash while doing so!

Look below to find our free NHL picks for the three Round 1 games on today’s schedule!

Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers – 7.00PM ET

We kick Round 1 action off in the NHL on Wednesday with a game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. The Penguins have their first shot at wrapping up the series tonight, as they have a 3-1 lead, but they will have to do it on the road. The Rangers will be looking to extend this series at least to one more game.

Marko Nadin

The New York Rangers are hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins with their back against the wall as the Penguins lead the series by 3-1. The Rangers were one of the biggest surprises in the regular season finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers were the second-best defensive team in the league during the regular season allowing only 2.5 goals per game but the Penguins scored 7 goals in each of the last two games at home to come one game away from advancing to the second round. Now the Rangers will fight to stay alive at home and they will find a way to do it and make the series more interesting.

The Rangers have 8 of the last 11 games following a loss of 3 or more goals, 7 of the last 10 games after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game but have lost the last 5 games when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game. The Penguins have won 20 of the last 27 games when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game but have lost 5 of the last 7 games when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game and 6 of the last 8 road games.

Marko’s NHL Pick: New York Rangers (-134)

Tony Battalio

The Pittsburgh Penguins grabbed a commanding 3-1 lead over the New York Rangers with a huge Game 4 win on Monday by a score of 7-2. Now they will be looking to close the series out in Game 5 on Wednesday as they return to Madison Square Garden for this one, and sweet would it be if the Penguins can clinch the series in the world’s most famous arena. They are a serious dark horse team to win the Stanley Cup trophy in my opinion. 

The New York Rangers have their backs pinned against the wall coming into the fifth game of this first round series at home. They have to win this game, otherwise their unexpected and somewhat Cinderella like season will come to an end in their home arena. They will need to be better in net after giving up seven goals in Game 3 and 4. In total throughout the first four games of the series, they have given up a total of 20 goals. As for the result of this one however, I think the Rangers will bounce back and get the victory over the Penguins. 

Tony’s NHL Pick: New York Rangers (-134)

Jeffery Thomas

The Pittsburgh Penguins were able to get a pair of dominant home wins against the Rangers in Games 3 and 4 and now lead this first round series 3-1 heading back to New York. The veteran Penguins are just proving to be too much for the Rangers and now have a chance to eliminate the Rangers in front of their home fans on Wednesday night. Sidney Crosby has turned back the hands of time and now has 9 total points in the series following his one goal and three assist performance in Game 4’s 7-2 win. His linemate Jake Guentzel has also scored a goal, and now leads all players in the playoffs with five. Igor Shesterkin’s struggles continued as he was pulled from his second consecutive game, and left Pittsburgh having allowed 10 goals in three periods of play. 

His home performances in the series have been way better, stopping 119 shots, and to keep the Rangers’ season alive he will be relied upon heavily to slow down Pittsburgh’s electric offense. Coming back from a 1-3 deficit has been done 30 times in NHL history but I haven’t seen anything to suggest we’ll be seeing that in this series. This is the 16th playoff rodeo for the Pens’ core group of Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang and they are still bringing it night in and night out. Getting the Penguins here at plus money on the road against a struggling goalie is too much value to pass up and I think we will see this veteran group wrap this series up in 5.

Jeffery’s NHL Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins (+112)

Washington Capitals @ Florida Panthers – 7.30PM ET

It’s Game 5 of the series between the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers, and the Panthers certainly haven’t had it all their way, as the series is currently all tied up at 2-2. Last time out the Panthers got the win, 3-2 in overtime. 

Marko Nadin

The Florida Panthers were so dominant in the regular season that many believed they would get the job done in four games against the Washington Capitals in the opening playoff round. But as things stand after 4 games, the Panthers can be considered lucky to have the series tied at 2 games a piece. Florida managed to win the last game in the nation capital 3-2 in overtime. The Capitals have proved to be a tough opponent as their experienced squad are in a great situation to advance against the best team in the regular season in the entire league. However, the Panthers are a very good home team and the highest-scoring team in the league. 

They will definitely pick up the level of the game and win this one at home. Florida has won 45 of the last 53 games as home favorites, 15 of the last 20 games allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game and 38 of the last 56 games when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game. The Capitals have lost 5 of the last 7 games against a team with a winning record and 8 of the last 11 Conference Quarterfinals games.

Marko’s NHL Pick: Florida Panthers (-230)

Tony Battalio

The Washington Capitals are surprising everyone in this series as most people expected them to get swept in four games. However this will be Game 5 and the series is guaranteed to go at least six games as it is currently tied at two games a piece. They lost a heartbreaker in Game 4 as they had a chance to take a 3-1 lead, but they ended up losing by a single goal in overtime. Now they will be looking to bounce back in this one as they will try to steal another win in Florida. 

The Florida Panthers finished the regular season as the team with the best record in the National Hockey League, which means they will have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs which could come up huge in this one and the entire series as well, as they would host Game 7 at home as well. They have been the best team at home during the season as they ended the regular season with a record of 34-7-0. As for the result of this one, I’m going with the Florida Panthers to pick up the win over the Washington Capitals. 

Tony’s NHL Pick: Florida Panthers (-230)

Jeffery Thomas

The Florida Panthers were able to claim a huge win on the road in Game 4 to even their series with the Washington Capitals at two a piece. The Capitals defense has been very impressive, allowing just four goals in the past two games to the Panthers offense that was the best in the league in the regular season. A return home for Florida in this pivotal Game 5 has me believing that we will see the Panthers of old in this one. 

The Capitals are getting by on veteran experience and great defense but these home fans don’t want to see their President Trophy winning team get bounced in the first round, and a home loss here would pretty much be the first step to that happening. Give me the Panthers here at home.

Jeffery’s NHL Pick: Florida Panthers (-230)

Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames – 9.30PM ET

The final game on the NHL schedule today will see Game 5 between the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames. The series is currently all leveled up at 2-2, which makes winning this game of the utmost importance, and the Flames will be getting the home ice advantage in this one.

Marko Nadin

The Calgary Flames are one of the sleeping candidates to win the Stanley Cup this season and if they will raise their chances to keep the dream alive, they need to defeat the Dallas Stars tonight at home. The Flames started the series well winning the opening game but then failed to do so in the next two games. The Stars had an opportunity to go 3-1 up at home in the last game but the Flames showed their class and won 4-1 to stay alive in the series. Calgary was one of the best home teams in the league having a double-digit home winning streak in the middle of the season. 

The Flames regained momentum in the last game and they will use that to win tonight as well. Calgary has won the last 7 games played on Wednesday, 4 of the last 5 games as home favorites and 15 of the last 20 games when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game. The Stars have won 5 of the last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games, 28 of the last 41 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals and 4 of the last 5 games playing on 1 day rest.

Marko’s NHL Pick: Calgary Flames (-225)

Tony Battalio

The Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames are having a fantastic back and forth series here in the first round of the 2021-22 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The series is currently tied at two games a piece as the Flames and Stars keep trading victories. Now the series will head back to Calgary for Game 5 and potentially for Game 7 as well which is huge for the Flames as they look to get into the second round. Calgary finished the year with a home record of 25-9-7. 

The Dallas Stars were the last seed to clinch a playoff spot in the Western Conference as they got into the playoffs as a Wild Card in the Central Division. They are looking to bounce back after a 1-4 loss in Game 4 at home. It would be safe to say they would be the biggest upset winner of the first round if they can manage to knock out the Calgary Flames. As for the result of this game, I am going with the Calgary Flames to pick up the win. 

Tony’s NHL Pick: Calgary Flames (-225)

Jeffery Thomas

This series between the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames has probably been the tightest of all the matchups in the first round and it seems destined to go 7 games. Each team so far has won a game by shutout, and won a game in the other’s home arena. The Stars and Flames also both have scored two or fewer goals in three of four games. The Flames got the 4-1 win in Game 4 on the road and now return home with a chance to come within a game of moving on to the Western Conference Semifinals. 

History shows that in a 2-2 tie the winner of Game 5 goes on to win the series 79% of the time, so both teams know how important this game will be. The Stars are 8-3 in their last 11 trips to Calgary to play the Flames on the road and in this seesaw series I think it will be Dallas who comes out ahead when the final horn blows in Game 5.

Jeffery’s NHL Pick: Dallas Stars (+184)

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*Odds and spreads correct at time of writing, courtesy of FanDuel.

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