We have loved the action throughout this impressive NHL season and first round of the playoffs, but now we are entering the second round, with a spot in the Conference Finals up for grabs. We are sure to see the cracking playoffs continue in Round 2, and with the Lightning still alive, many high quality teams will be looking to stop them 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 second round.
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Look below to find our free NHL picks for the two Round 2 games on today’s schedule!
New York Rangers @ Carolina Hurricanes – 8.00PM ET
The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes will do battle in Game 2 of their Round 2 series. It was the Hurricanes that used their home ice to their advantage, beating the Rangers, 2-1, in overtime. The Rangers will be looking to steal a game early on the road, while the Hurricanes will look to head to New York with a 2-0 lead.
The Carolina Hurricanes survived the series opener winning 2-1 in overtime against New York and that may be as close as the Rangers will come to a victory in the series especially in the games played in PNC Arena.The Rangers took the lead early on in that game and were less than 3 minutes away from victory but then the ‘Canes turned things around quickly. To make things even harder for the Rangers, it was the defense man Ian Cole who scored the game-winner in overtime, his only third goal this season including the regular season. Both teams have some of the best defenses in the league so there will not be many goals again but I expect the Hurricanes to take care of business in regulation this time.
Carolina has won 4 of the last 5 games against teams with a winning record over 60%, 16 of the last 21 Conference Semifinals games and 6 of the last 8 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game. The Rangers have won 23 of the last 31 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game, 9 of the last 12 games played after one day rest and 7 of the last 10 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Marko’s NHL Pick: Carolina Hurricanes (-172)
The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes had a great Game 1 as they went to overtime. The Carolina Hurricanes pulled out the victory by a score of 2-1. Now they will be looking to grab a 2-0 lead before the series goes to New York for Game 3 and 4. They were the second best team in the Eastern Conference all season long as they were the champions of the Metropolitan Division and now they will be looking to get to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The New York Rangers were a surprise over the course of the 2021-22 National Hockey League season. But they managed to turn themselves into a serious contender for the Stanley Cup trophy after their comeback against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They were down 1-3 and managed to come all the way back. As for the result of this game, I am going with the Carolina Hurricanes to take a 2-0 lead in this series.
Tony’s NHL Pick: Carolina Hurricanes (-172)
The Carolina Hurricanes took out the New York Rangers in overtime in Game 1 to get out ahead 1-0 in this second round series. The 2-1 scoreline could be a glimpse into how tight this series will be between two teams who were duking it out for the Metro Division title until the final week of the season. It was a rough loss for New York, who was dictating play for the first 40 minutes, outshooting the Canes 22-14 in the 5-on-5. That is a good sign going forward though, as is the play of goalie Igor Shesterkin. His success or failures has largely impacted how well the Rangers do, and he played pretty great in Game 1, stopping 24 of the 26 shots he faced.
The unfortunate part is that he was outplayed by Carolina’s goalie Antti Raanta. Raanta has stepped in gracefully for Frederick Andersen, giving up just eight goals in his last 4 games. Carolina is a perfect 5-0 in the postseason and stretching back into the regular season it’s been well over a month since they lost a game at home. I think they see this game as an opportunity to put heaps of pressure on this inexperienced Rangers team and will come out once again with a home victory. They just find ways to find at home, whether it’s a defensive battle or shootout, it doesn’t matter so give me the Canes to take the 2-0 lead.
Jeffery’s NHL Pick: Carolina Hurricanes (-172)
Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames – 10.30PM ET
Well, the first game of this series between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames was an interesting one, wasn’t it? The final score was 9-6, in favor of the home Flames, and the Oilers will certainly be fighting to level the series before they head home to Edmonton for the next two games in this series.
The Calgary Flames defeated the Edmonton Oilers 9-6 in a historic opening game of the series. This was the first Battle of Alberta Playoff game in 31 years and it ended up being the highest-scoring playoff game since 1993. Matthew Thachuk scored a hat-trick to lead the Flames to an important win that can be the cornerstone of a Calgary Flames series win that will lead them among the top 4 teams in the league. The Flames are an excellent home team that usually holds opponents to no more than 2 or 3 goals, but good news for them is the fact that when they allow more than that they can still outscore the opponent.
The Oilers will definitely show up even stronger tonight but that will not be enough to hold on the Flames who will take 2-0 series lead. Calgary has won 7 of the last 8 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game, 4 of the last 5 games against teams with a winning record and 25 of the last 34 home games. The Oilers have won 7 of the last 8 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game, 35 of the last 51 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game and the last 5 games played on Friday.
Marko’s NHL Pick: Calgary Flames (-176)
Game 2 of this Western Conference Semifinals series is here, after a massive amount of goals in Game 1, it was the Calgary Flames who came out on top by a score of 9-6. Now the Edmonton Oilers will be looking to even the series up in the second game in Calgary, as they will hope to take this series back to Edmonton tied at one. The battle of Alberta is certainly going to be a good one over these next three or more games.
The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers both had great regular seasons as they finished first and second in the Pacific Division. The winner of this second round series has a real shot at making a run at the Stanley Cup trophy as well. After a thrilling Game 1 that consisted of 15 total goals, both teams will be looking to improve on the defensive end of the ice. As for the result of this game, I am going with the Edmonton Oilers to even the series up at a game a piece.
Tony’s NHL Pick: Edmonton Oilers (+146)
The Calgary Flames won a wild Game 1 against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday that saw a total of 15 goals. It was a surprise as the Flames have been one of the best defensive teams in the league all year but it just goes to show how dangerous the Oilers attack can be. Connor McDavid is the best player in this series and he’s a big reason why it may be a good look towards Edmonton to even up the series on Friday.
He totaled four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in the loss in Game 1 but if he continues to put out those numbers then this series will be very close. Game 1 was also the fourth time in the last five meetings that the over has cashed in a game between these two teams. As far as Game 2 goes, I’m going to have to go back to Calgary though, as they are just too good at home. They are 23-9 in their last 32 games as a home favorite while the Oilers are just 2-7 in their last nine as a road dog.
Jeffery’s NHL Pick: Moneyline (3-way) – Calgary Flames (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of writing, courtesy of FanDuel.