The NHL Playoffs started on August 1, and just eight teams are remaining in the playoff field. That number will be cut in half by the end of the week as the conference finals will feature the top two teams from each conference.
Entering the week, all four second-round playoff series are currently 3-1, as four teams will be looking to punch their ticket into the conference finals. There is still time for teams to make a comeback, but the odds are against the teams that currently trail.
Here is a quick recap of what has taken place, and the current series betting lines in each matchup.
The Eastern Conference appeared to have the best matchups heading into the second round. However, both series have been mostly uncompetitive up to this point. It seems that the Eastern Conference could also be looking at a second straight huge upset that will shake things up considerably.
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Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders
The Philadelphia Flyers are the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but they are in real danger of being eliminated by the sixth-seeded New York Islanders. The Islanders are -1400 to win this series, and the Philadelphia Flyers are listed at +750.
New York has been solid on their special teams and in their defensive zone, and the Flyers can’t seem to find any offense. Philadelphia has overcome adversity throughout the season, but it’s hard to picture them beating the Islanders three games in a row.
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
This is the matchup that everyone was waiting to see in the Eastern Conference, but it has been pretty one-sided up to this point. Tampa Bay has been in control of this series, and the Bruins are now playing with their backs against the wall.
Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask opted out of the remainder of the playoffs, leaving a massive hole in net. The Bruins are still a terrific defensive team, but the Lightning have too much offense.
The Lightning are favored at -1000 over the Bruins, and they will be the team that advances to the Conference Finals.
The Western Conference also has a pair of series that stand at three games to one entering the week, but there have been some competitive games in each series. The top seed continues to play well, and it appears that the Western Conference could win the Stanley Cup for the second straight season.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars
Most experts predicted the Colorado Avalanche to win this series, but they are just one game away from being eliminated. The Dallas Stars have been able to find plenty of offense in this series, and their defense has been just good enough.
The Dallas Stars are listed at -700 to win this series, and the Colorado Avalanche are +450. There is still some hope for the Avs to make a comeback, but beating the Stars three games in a row is a challenging task.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks
The Vegas Golden Knights earned the top overall seed in the Western Conference by going undefeated in the round-robin tournament. Vegas has now lost just two games throughout the entire playoffs, and they hold a 3-1 series lead over the Canucks.
Vancouver pulled off a stunning upset of the St. Louis Blues in the opening round, but they have not had the same luck so far in this series. The Canucks are a young team, and their youth and inexperience has shown up against the Golden Knights.
Vegas is -15000 to win the series, and it’s hard to picture them not closing this one out in five games. The Golden Knights are incredibly talented.