Now that everyone’s had a go at each other in the Stanley Cup playoffs opening round, it’s time for Game 2.
We’ve already seen some surprises, especially in the Western Conference, but there is still a lot of puck to be played. The Islanders, Stars, Oilers and Panthers each need a win to avoid being down 2-0 in their respective series.
Favorites went 2-2 on Monday. Three of the four games went under and Kings-Oilers needed a last-minute goal by Los Angeles to send it to overtime to hit the over of 6.5 goals.
During the Stanley Cup playoffs, The Athletic’s writers will make their straight-up picks. You’ll find picks, coverage and the latest odds here. Our in-depth NHL coverage is linked below the picks.
All odds from BetMGM and update live.
Game 2 – Islanders at Hurricanes
Carolina leads 1-0
7 p.m. on ESPN2, SN360
Carolina handled itself well against the Islanders on Monday. But it shouldn’t be a complete surprise if the Islanders battle back to even the series. Seems like all of our experts are thinking the same way. Why? Well, the Islanders can also play well defensively and Ilya Sorokin is still capable of stealing a game. The Islanders will probably need him to do it on Wednesday before returning to Long Island.
Game 2 – Panthers at Bruins
Boston leads 1-0
7:30 p.m. on ESPN, SN, CBC
The Panthers really needed to steal that Game 1, man.
Alex Lyon played fantastically and did everything he could to keep his team in the game against the mighty Bruins, who were without Patrice Bergeron due to illness. It was reminiscent of Jake Oettinger last year in the playoffs, holding the fort for an underdog against a favorite.
But Game 1 showed that the Bruins have it all: Goaltending, defense and offensive depth. When you don’t have to be super reliant on Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak — thank you, Tyler Bertuzzi, Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci — it makes your work a lot easier. The Bruins can take a 2-0 lead in the series, although expect Matthew Tkachuk and his crew hang around and put up a fight.
Game 2 – Wild at Stars
Minnesota leads 1-0
9:30 p.m. on ESPN2, SN 360
The series was going to be a close one and Game 1 proved us right with a double-overtime thriller, even if there was some controversy. It remains to be seen when the Stars will have Joe Pavelski back after taking a dangerous hit from Matt Dumba. But this is where the rest of their depth will have to step up, and players like Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson did their part in Game 1 at home.
There is even reason to feel confident that the Stars could rebound in Game 2, even if the odds are pretty close between them and Minnesota right now.
Game 2 – Kings at Oilers
Los Angeles leads 1-0
10 p.m. on ESPN, SN, CBC
Arguably the most surprising result of opening night was the Kings coming back from a 3-1 deficit against an Oilers team with high expectations. Only one of our experts predicted a Game 1 Kings win. The Kings are better than last season due to their improved goaltending and defensive ability. But for most of Monday’s encounter, the Kings failed to keep up with the Oilers’ speed. Edmonton understood that Game 1 slipped away, so the expectation is that the Oilers won’t ease off in Game 2. However, it’s worth debating if Los Angeles can continue to play that desperate style that brought the Kings back into the game in the first place. It promises to be another fun series, in any case.
More on the NHL Playoffs
Which player on each NHL playoff team has most to prove?
Which team should you root for in the NHL playoffs? The 2023 Bandwagon-Hopper’s guide
Kings rally to stun Oilers in OT: How L.A. capitalized on Edmonton’s undisciplined play
(Top photo of Sebastian Aho: Josh Lavallee / NHLI via Getty Images)
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