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NHL Playoffs Game 2 Odds, Betting Previews: Hurricanes-Islanders, Avalanche-Sharks

Credit:

Neville E. Guard, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Philipp Grubauer

  • There are a pair of NHL Playoff games on Sunday: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Islanders (-135) and Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks (-140).
  • Michael Leboff breaks down the odds and analyzes Sunday's Stanley Cup Playoff action.

The hockey gods have a sick sense of humor.

On Friday night, the Boston Bruins fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, in double-overtime. The game almost ended in the first overtime several times, most notably on this dump from center ice by Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk that took a cruel bounce in front of Sergei Bobrovsky.

Luckily, Bob was on his toes. That wasn’t Bobrovsky’s only big save in overtime, he made a bunch, but it honestly may have been his best. Go figure.

Speaking of sick bounces, the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders played a weird, tight contest their series opener at Barclays Center on Friday night.

After the teams traded chances for three periods — including a controversial no-goal call against the Islanders in the second period — the game went to overtime scoreless thanks to stupendous goaltending from Petr Mrazek and Robin Lehner.

The night ended on a wacky goal, as Jordan Staal one-timed a bounce off the end boards off Lehner’s skate and into the net. It was Carolina’s first shot on goal in the extra period.

It was the type of game neither team deserved to lose as they both were strong at 5-on-5. That is pretty interesting considering that on paper the Canes should be the team that drives play in this matchup, but on Friday night it was actually the Islanders who posted more expected goals.

Game 1 closed with the Islanders as -140 favorites and that’s where this number has hung around so far for Game 2.

There’s a lot to unpack for Game 2 of this series. First of all, both goalies will, in all likelihood, let in a goal in regulation in Game 2. It is also hard to project whether the Islanders will be able to replicate their 5-on-5 prowess from Game 1.

And finally, the Hurricanes are still playing on short rest. This is their third game since Wednesday night’s double-overtime victory over Washington in Game 7.

With all of that variance, I’m not going to get involved in this game at the current number.

I am interested in Sunday’s other Game 2, though.

Betting odds: Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks

  • Avalanche odds: +127
  • Sharks odds: -140
  • Over/Under: 6
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBCSN

The San Jose Sharks defeated Colorado, 5-2, in Game 1 but things were tighter than the scoreboard suggested. The Avalanche had a slight advantage in terms of Shot Share and Expected Goals, but the Sharks had more high-danger scoring chances and, of course, scored three more goals than the Avs.

I’m not saying the Avalanche deserved to win this game, but a deeper look at the box score suggests that it was closer than the final score indicates.

I thought the market was a little too high on the Avs coming into the series opener, Colorado was well-rested after pulling off a surprising and impressive five-game victory over the Flames in Round 1, but the price for Game 2 has adjusted in the Sharks’ favor. So now the question becomes, did it move too much?

The Sharks closed as -130 favorites in Game 1. They were without Joe Pavelski, arguably their best forward, and Joonas Donskoi, an effective scoring-line winger, on Friday and will likely be missing both players again on Sunday night.

The current odds give the Sharks a 57% to win this game without Pavelski and Donskoi and, it should be noted, on less rest than Colorado. The Avalanche also have a significant edge in goaltending with Philipp Grubauer over Martin Jones.

I think the Avs are playable at +125, though I’d keep an eye out to see if Colorado hits +130 anywhere.

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