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NHL Playoff Player Props: 4 Top Picks, Including Draisaitl & Gaudreau (May 22)

NHL Playoff Player Props: 4 Top Picks, Including Draisaitl & Gaudreau (May 22) article feature image
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Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kailer Yamamoto and Leon Draisaitl

  • Action Network NHL analyst Nicholas Martin breaks down his four favorite props for Sunday.
  • He's eying three overs and one under in a pair of Game 3s.
  • Check out his analysis and picks below.

NHL betting analyst Nicholas Martin breaks down his four favorite plays from Sunday’s slate of Game 3s.

Igor Shesterkin Under 2.5 Goals Against -110 (Play to -120)

Hurricanes vs. Rangers — 3:30 p.m. ET

The Rangers have defended far better than I expected in the first two games of this series, and I think it’s likely we will see them give star net-minder another great chance to succeed Sunday at home in a near must-win spot.

Shesterkin allowed just three Goals Against in the first two contests of this series, and I believe it’s more likely than a -110 number suggests that he stays below 2.5 again today.

Backing New York to win or the game total to go under both look like reasonable plays to me, but I see the most value with this bet than either of those options.

New York could certainly struggle to generate next to anything again against Antti Raanta and a fantastic Hurricanes defense and lose the game while this prop hits for a third straight time.

By the same token, a large portion of games that go under should see this bet hitting as well, and Under 5.5 currently sits at just -140. Let’s look for a dominant day from Shesterkin behind what will hopefully be a very sharp team performance from the Rangers.

Johnny Gaudreau Over 0.5 Assists -125 (Play to -135)

Flames vs. Oilers — 8 p.m. ET

With how I believe Calgary will continue to generate offense in this series, and in particular the top unit and power plays, Johnny Gaudreau should continue cashing this at a very profitable rate.

Gaudreau has managed an assist in eight of nine playoff games so far this season and has looked deadly on the puck. He has used his incredible skating ability to drive the play and find open looks for teammates.

Even in the Flames’ extremely tight checking, lower-scoring series vs. Dallas, this would have been a very profitable bet to have played each game, and in this series vs. the Oilers, it should continue to hold lots of value.

Gaudreau has managed five assists through the opening two games of this significantly higher-scoring series, and I believe he is likely to continue managing strong offensive outputs all series long.

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Leon Draisaitl Over 3.5 Shots On Goal +120 (Play to +110)

Flames vs. Oilers — 8 p.m. ET

Leon Draisaitl has hit this in one of two games so far in the battle of Alberta, and as long as he continues to skate on the Oilers’ top-unit with Connor McDavid and Evander Kane, I think getting such a big number on four shots holds value even with Draisaitl playing through what is apparently a significant injury.

McDavid is clearly driving play at an utterly ridiculous level and will always look to find Draisaitl as much as possible to let the two-time 50-goal scorer get his excellent one-timer off.

Draisaitl has had 10 attempts in the first two games and has still managed to be a difference maker early on in this series despite fighting through his lower-body ailment. I think we will see him, McDavid, and Kane drive play effectively tonight and manage a lot of attempts on goal. I see value backing Draisaitl to be on the end of some of those chances at this number.

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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Anytime Goal Scorer +325 (Play to +300)

Flames vs. Oilers — 8 p.m. ET

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ playoff run has surely been somewhat of a letdown so far, as he has managed just eight points throughout the opening nine contests and not controlled play at an effective rate.

He did appear to finally breakthrough with his first goal in six games in Game 2, but a quick whistle ultimately prevented the goal from counting.

Nugent-Hopkins is a proven scorer who has managed four 20-goal campaigns in his career. He’s rightfully still skating on the Oilers’ lethal top power-play unit and on the Oilers’ second line.

He may not be dominating, but I think this is a good-time to buy low on a guy who certainly has the ability to put the puck in the net. He will have every opportunity to do so skating big minutes in this high-scoring series, particularly should the Oilers’ power play continue to find it’s rhythm moving forward.

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