by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
Blue Jackets at Lightning | OddsShark Matchup Report
Opening NHL Odds: Lightning -230 Favorites
The Blue Jackets rallied back from a 3-0 deficit at the end of the first period to stun the Lightning 4-3 in Game 1 as +200 road underdogs on Wednesday. They have now won eight of their last nine games going back to the regular season, and this should not be too surprising since they also won the first two games on the road against the Capitals in the first round a year ago before collapsing with four straight losses. Tampa Bay can learn from Washington’s mistakes though and not underestimate Columbus in this spot again. The Lightning remain the most talented team in the league and favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
Penguins at Islanders | OddsShark Matchup Report
Opening NHL Odds: Pick’em -110
Game 1 of this series did not disappoint and played out as most fans and bettors might expect, with the Islanders edging the Penguins 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday in what closed as a pick’em matchup. New York relied on a strong home-ice advantage at Nassau Coliseum but should be ready for Pittsburgh’s best shot in Game 2. The Penguins found a way to equalize three different times in the series opener before falling in OT, and they had outscored the Islanders 8-3 in the previous two meetings during the regular season. Pittsburgh has lost back-to-back games in the playoffs just twice since hoisting their last Cup, and both happened versus Washington in the second round last year. That favors the Penguins in this spot.
Blues at Jets | OddsShark Matchup Report
Opening NHL Odds: Blues -120 Favorites
Winnipeg’s late-season struggles continued in Game 1 against St. Louis despite scoring the opening goal. The Jets simply could not find the back of the net the rest of the way in a 2-1 loss as -120 home favorites on Wednesday. They have now lost six of their past eight games, scoring two goals or less five times during that stretch. The Blues have headed in the opposite direction with nine wins in their last 11 games, tallying three goals or more nine times. More importantly, St. Louis rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington showed no signs of being impacted by the big stage and a raucous road environment at Winnipeg, stopping 24 of 25 shots after going 24-5-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average in the regular season.
Golden Knights at Sharks | OddsShark Matchup Report
Opening NHL Odds: Pick’em -110
This promised to be a physical series and lived up to those expectations in Game 1 with the Sharks emerging victorious 5-2 against the Golden Knights as -125 home favorites on Wednesday. The road team had won five of the previous nine meetings, including last year’s second-round playoff matchup, but Vegas kept putting itself into man-down situations with bad penalties throughout. The Golden Knights will need to keep their composure in Game 2 and rely more on their team speed to create additional scoring opportunities after totaling only 10 shots through the first two periods. San Jose had never beaten Vegas in consecutive games until now, and the OVER has cashed eight times in the last 11 between the teams.