With one game in the NHL Conference Finals already underway, we saw the Bruins make light work of the Hurricanes on their home ice thanks to a 4-goal third period.
This win moved the Bruins to -320 to win the series. Teams that win Game 1 of the best-of-7 conference finals in the format since 1982 have an all-time series record of 46-26 (63.9 percent).
In the Western Conference, the Sharks are -130 series favorites to win over the Blues. It took the Sharks seven games in both series to advance to the Conference Finals. First was an overtime victory in historic come-from-behind fashion versus the Golden Knights. In the second round, the Avalanche forced a seventh game that also went to overtime where the Sharks won 2-1.
Similarly for the Blues, it took a Game 7 victory to advance to this round after making light work of the Jets in the opening series, then having an overtime win versus the Stars on Tuesday night.
Carolina Hurricanes – Boston Bruins
(Series: Boston 1-0)
In the regular season head-to-head, goals were plentiful as no game had less than five goals scored. Boston have won five of the most recent six regular season meetings and already have a victory in Game 1 of the series.
The Bruins are once again considerable favorites on their home ice (-155) for Sunday’s contest. The Bruins have posted a 29-9-3 record in the regular season on their home ice. Boston have won five of eight at home this postseason.
The Hurricanes have done well on the road this season posting a 22-16-3 record away from home in the regular season. It took seven games to defeat the reigning Cup Champion Washington Capitals, and the Hurricanes used that momentum to sweep the Islanders in the second round, winning two games away from home along the way.
The Hurricanes have a luxury no other team this postseason has with two goaltenders each capable of starting. Petr Mrazek has been the ‘Canes number one posting a 5-4 record with two shutouts. Backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney has posted a 1.56 GAA and .947 save percentage through three games played (only two started).
The Hurricanes are a team definitely capable of stealing a game in Boston if they can play a clean game and keep the Bruins off the power play. Penalties cost Carolina in the opening game where the power play allowed the Bruins to score the game tying, and go-ahead goals both early in the third period.
GAME 2 PICK: Carolina Hurricanes +135
SERIES WINNER PICK: Boston Bruins -320
St. Louis Blues – San Jose Sharks
The Sharks have won four of six meetings in the 2018-19 season versus the Blues. All season these have been two of the better defensive teams ranking second and fourth in shots allowed per game with the Sharks 28.3, and Blues 28.6. The Blues netminder Jordan Bennington has posted a 1.89 goals against average throughout the regular season with five shutouts.
Although the Sharks goaltending has been inconsistent almost the entirety of the regular season season, when these two teams meet up, most of the games have been very low scoring. All six regular season games have gone Under the total of 5.5 goals.
After a very high scoring series versus the Golden Knights with lots of shots, Sharks goaltender Martin Jones had a quiet series versus the Avalanche facing 30 or more saves only once. By the same token, the Blues aren’t a team that get a lot of shots per game, so looking into taking the Under throughout most games this series looks like a profitable play in the long run.
GAME 2 PICK: Under 5.5 goals -110
SERIES WINNER PICK: St. Louis Blues +110