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NHL Playoffs picks, odds: Expert predictions for Leafs-Bruins, Golden Knights-Stars, Kings-Oilers

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NHL Playoffs picks, odds: Expert predictions for Leafs-Bruins, Golden Knights-Stars, Kings-Oilers


We’ve got three games on tap for Wednesday, including a handful of Western Conference powers about to play the second games of their respective series.

Many fans voiced their displeasure about the Vegas Golden Knights, a team that has used the long-term injured reserve rule to its advantage once again. Mark Stone, who had a lacerated spleen that kept him out for a chunk of the regular season sure looked fine against the Dallas Stars in Game 1 on Monday night. Tomas Hertl, who was acquired at the trade deadline while injured, also scored in the Golden Knights’ series-opening win.

If it wasn’t clear, the reigning champions entered this postseason as the ultimate villain. How dare it use the LTIR function to its benefit as other teams have and will continue to do until the next collective bargaining agreement? Especially with the salary cap being as restrictive as it is? Shame on them!

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Kings hope to turn the tide after being walked by Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman in Game 1. Finally, the Toronto Maple Leafs return home to play Game 3 against the Boston Bruins and will once again put their fans’ emotions on another 60-minute (and possibly longer) roller coaster ride.

Odds are from BetMGM and update live. Buy tickets to see your favorite team on StubHub.


Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins  — Game 3

How to watch:7 p.m. ET on ESPN, SN, CBC

Series tied 1-1

Series odds: Bruins -115, Maple Leafs -105

Key takeaways�

  • For the fourth time since 2013, the Leafs and Bruins will play Game 3 in Toronto. The Maple Leafs have won their last two Game 3s against the Bruins, holding the B’s to two goals in each game. Also, Auston Matthews has scored in both of those Game 3s.
  • Jeremy Swayman is Boston’s projected starter for Game 3. Including his final three regular season games, Swayman has won each of his last four appearances.
  • Do you know who might be due for a playoff goal? Brad Marchand. He has no goals in his last four playoff games, dating back to last season’s first-round exit against Florida.
  • Of course, we can extend that to Mitch Marner who only has one playoff goal in his last 11 Stanley Cup playoff games.

Expert picks

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Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars — Game 2

How to watch:9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, SN360

Knights lead 1-0

Series odds: Stars +130, Golden Knights -165

Key takeaways�

  • Mark Stone’s goal in Game 1 against Dallas extended a six-game playoff scoring streak dating back to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Florida last summer. Stone has six goals and 10 points in that span.
  • Stone, however, has ways to go before matching Jonathan Marchessault’s scoring streak. The reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner extended his streak to 11 games when he scored on Monday night. He has nine goals and 16 points in those games.
  • Jason Robertson’s goal from Game 1 was his sixth goal scored against Vegas in a playoff game. In last year’s series, Robertson had five goals and six points in six games against the Knights.
  • Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger allowed four goals on 15 shots in his team’s Game 1 loss versus Vegas. It’s the third time dating back to last year that Oettinger has allowed four goals or more against the Golden Knights.

Expert picks


Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers — Game 2

How to watch:10 p.m. ET on ESPN2, SN, CBC

Oilers lead 1-0

Series odds: Oilers -450, Kings +360

Key takeaways�

  • Edmonton Oilers forward Zach Hyman had five career hat tricks entering Game 1 of the Kings-Oilers series, but his most recent one against Los Angeles is his first-ever one in the playoffs. All six have occurred as a member of the Oilers and five of them are from the 2023-24 season and playoffs.
  • Connor McDavid has stacked up points in playoff games before. But his Game 1 performance was the first time he had a five-point game in the postseason.
  • Los Angeles Kings goalie Cam Talbot made his first postseason appearance since May 12, 2022, when he was a member of the Minnesota Wild. Talbot, however, only has three Stanley Cup playoff wins in his last 12 appearances. He hasn’t ended a game with a save percentage above .900 since shutting out the Vegas Golden Knights as a member of the Wild on May 26, 2021.
  • Anze Kopitar is fifth all-time in Kings’ playoff goals with 24. His next two goals will put him in a tie for third with Dave Taylor and Jeff Carter in a tie for third. Luc Robitaille has the most Kings goals scored in the postseason with 41 with Wayne Gretzky in second place at 29.

Expert picks


Picks standings

(Photo of Mark Stone and Matt Duchene: Sam Hodde / Getty Images)





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