NHL Best Bets: Top Picks for Hurricanes vs. Islanders & More

NHL Best Bets: Top Picks for Hurricanes vs. Islanders & More article feature image

Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche

  • The NHL postseason continues with four Game 6 matchups tonight, and we're targeting three games.
  • Our NHL best bets include a bet on the puck line and a pair of player props.
  • Check out our hockey experts' picks and breakdowns for each bet below.

Check out our NHL Game 6 best bets from our crew of hockey experts for Friday, April 28.

The 2022-23 NHL postseason continues with four Game 6 matchups tonight, and we're targeting three of the games.

Below, check out our hockey crew's top picks, including a puck line bet and some player props, for the playoff games.

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Hurricanes vs. Islanders Player Prop

Brent Burns Over 3.5 Shots on Goal (-102)
Puck Drop
7 p.m. ET

Tony Sartori: Game 6 of this Eastern Conference series is set to get underway with the New York Islanders hosting the Carolina Hurricanes. New York barely escaped Game 5 after getting dominated from start to finish, something Carolina will likely not let happen again.

Domination has been the trend for the 'Canes in this round despite the 3-2 series record. Controlling possession, Carolina has out-shot the Islanders 169-140 through the first five games of this series.

While goaltender Ilya Sorokin could continue to bail out New York, he cannot also play defense and prevent the Hurricanes from entering the zone with ease and firing pucks on net. One of the guys who has been most dominant in doing so this series is defenseman Brent Burns, who has been finding the high-danger scoring areas with relative ease.

This postseason, Burns ranks second on Carolina in expected goals at five-on-five. If he continues to find the prime scoring areas, then the shot-happy Burns will have no qualms in continuing to fire the puck.

Averaging 4.4 shots on goal, Burns has registered at least four shots on goal in four of the first five games. Dating back to the regular season, he has recorded at least four shots in seven of his past 10 games, a trend likely to continue in this matchup against a team that is allowing Carolina to dominate possession.

Pick: Brent Burns Over 3.5 Shots on Goal (-102)

Bruins vs. Panthers Puck Line

Boston Bruins -1.5 (+145)
Puck Drop
7:30 p.m. ET

Ryan Dadoun: Boston narrowly lost Game 5 to Florida, but that was largely thanks to Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 44 of 47 shots. Meanwhile, Linus Ullmark saved just 21 of 25, but on most nights, Ullmark is the far better bet.

Bobrovsky certainly has his moments, but the 34-year-old is far removed from his Vezina Trophy wins in 2013 and 2017. He had a 3.07 GAA and a .901 save percentage in 50 regular-season outings and, even after his Game 5 heroics, he owns an unappealing 4.12 GAA and .895 save percentage in three playoff contests this year.

I’m not expecting him to play like that again in Game 6, especially when his opponent is Boston. The Bruins are one of the strongest teams in modern history, and while regular-season success doesn’t always translate in the postseason, the Bruins have the benefit of being a seasoned group that has already beaten Florida by a margin of at least two goals on three occasions during this series.

On top of that, Boston has gotten Patrice Bergeron (upper body) back, and David Krejci (upper body) might make his return Friday, which would in turn make all of Boston's players available. There’s a lot to be optimistic about with this team.

Avalanche vs. Kraken Player Prop

Nathan MacKinnon Over 4.5 Shots on Goal (-150)
Puck Drop
10 p.m. ET

Nicholas Martin: Value doesn't mean a bet has to be at plus money or long odds; what it means is that we believe our wager is going to win more often than the price being offered suggests.

So while this bet is chalky and not an overly interesting handicap by any means, I believe there's lots of value here.

Nathan MacKinnon has averaged 5.64 shots on goal over his last 23 playoff games, and he has cashed the over in 16 of those 23 games (69% hit rate).

The Avs are losing lots of the depth matchups in this series. If they are to stay alive, it will likely come with huge performances from MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and the like. If this game remains close like I am expecting, we could see MacKinnon skate well past 20 minutes.

This sets up as a perfect game script to target a proven playoff performer in MacKinnon. I love wagering on him to be highly involved tonight.

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