NHL Player Props, Odds: Picks for Igor Shesterkin, Andrei Vasilevskiy & Nathan MacKinnon
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images. Pictured: Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche.
- Welcome to Day 2 of the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.
- Nick Martin found three player prop picks for Igor Shesterkin, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Nathan MacKinnon.
- Check out all three of Martin's player props for Tuesday's NHL playoff games below.
The best time of year for hockey fans will continue Tuesday night as Night 2 of the first round gets underway. We’re treated to a quality four-game slate on ESPN and ESPN2 beginning at 7 p.m. ET tonight.
Here are four player prop picks for the second slate of Game 1 matchups that I believe are providing some strong value.
NHL Player Props for Tuesday, April 18
Igor Shesterkin Over 30.5 Saves (-122)
|Team vs. Team||Devils vs Rangers|
|Puck Drop||7 p.m. ET|
It’s possible that a very strong Rangers team wins this series because of their elite goaltending and opportunistic scoring ability. What I believe is far less likely is the Rangers holding the Devils to modest shooting totals on a nightly basis, which is why this is my favorite way to back Jersey tonight.
The Devils are excellent at generating offense both in transition and with sustained offensive zone time. They’ve generated 35.3 shots per game in four previous matchups against the Rangers this season and will likely play to that number in front of a raucous home crowd Tuesday.
Game script is important when we look at save props, as teams tend to sit back and play less aggressively if up several goals compared to periods of play in which they’re trailing or tied. Despite my belief that New Jersey will generate a lot of zone time, I believe New York has strengths that will keep this game close.
Andrei Vasilevskiy Over 30.5 Saves (-110)
|Team vs. Team||Lightning vs. Maple Leafs|
|Puck Drop||7:30 p.m. ET|
Much from the same vein comes our bet on Andrei Vasilevskiy to record over 30.5 saves in the first game of Tampa’s highly-anticipated rematch with Toronto.
The great equalizer in this series could be Vasilevskiy, who is a far more proven and accomplished netminder than Ilya Samsonov.
Vasilevskiy averaged 30. saves per game last year during the Lightning’s 23-game playoff run, playing behind a far better defensive team.
Tampa surely will hit another gear come playoff time. We know that. But many of the names on the roster have changed, and right now, it seems like a reach to say that is matter-of-factly going to become a stout defensive side starting tonight.
Over the last 10 game Tampa has allowed 34.5 shots against per 60 minutes while playing to a 48.8 xGF%. Meanwhile, Toronto has generated 34.1 shots on goal with a 57% expected goal share.
My belief is that Toronto can carry much of the play tonight and pepper Tampa’s goal. Despite my faith in the Leafs playing well as a team tonight, we likely will see close scorelines throughout, which sets this prop up nicely.
Nathan MacKinnon Over 4.5 Shots On Goal (-120)
|Team vs. Team||Kraken vs Avalanche|
|Puck Drop||10 p.m. ET|
MacKinnon has been the second most productive player in the NHL in the new calendar year and capped off a stunning second half with a hat trick of beautiful goals versus Nashville.
When in top form, it’s nearly impossible to keep MacKinnon in check, and he is very clearly in top form heading into this matchup.
He proved to have another gear last postseason, as he put up 117 shots in 20 games for an average of 5.9 per game. He cashed the over in 14 of those 20 contests.
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