by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
Islanders at Hurricanes | OddsShark Matchup Report
Opening NHL Odds: Hurricanes -140 Favorites
The Hurricanes will go for the sweep here in Game 4, something that is very important to them considering they will be playing at home again and can earn some much-needed rest in order to get healthier for what looks like a likely appearance in the Eastern Conference final.
Carolina is the only team left in the playoff field that has yet to lose at home, going a perfect 4-0 and outscoring opponents by a 17-5 margin. In addition, the Hurricanes are the hottest team in the league with five straight wins, the latest coming as a -125 home favorite with a 5-2 victory in Game 3 on Wednesday.
While that matchup was much closer than the final score might indicate with two empty-net goals coming in the final minute of play, the Islanders have a lot of work ahead of them and will need to play a much lower-scoring game like the first two at home that saw the UNDER cash twice with a combined total of four goals there.
Stars at Blues | OddsShark Matchup Report
Opening NHL Odds: Blues -145 Favorites
This Western Conference second-round series has been one in which adjustments for each team have been the story throughout the first four games. Dallas head coach Jim Montgomery switched up his top two lines in Game 3, moving rookie center Roope Hintz up to play with Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov, and he scored his fifth goal of the postseason in a 4-2 win as a -120 home favorite on Wednesday to even the series.
St. Louis had been perfect on the road in the playoffs at 4-0 and will now rely on home ice in hopes of re-taking the lead. The Blues had inserted defenseman Robert Bortuzzo into the lineup for Games 3 and 4, replacing Joel Edmundson, and neither of them has played particularly well against the Stars. This matchup has also gotten very physical lately, so whichever team can keep its cool may end up advancing.
Both of them won Game 5 on the road in the first round before closing out the opposition at home in Game 6, so they each should have a sense of urgency to take this one. The OVER is 3-0-1 in the first four games as well with a lower total of five goals each time. That said, Game 5 should be lower scoring with each goaltender playing at his best.