NHL Best Bets: Stanley Cup Playoffs Picks and Parlays for Thursday, May 16

NHL Best Bets: Stanley Cup Playoffs Picks and Parlays for Thursday, May 16

This article is part of our NHL Picks series.

NHL Picks and Parlays: Expert NHL Bets Tonight (May 16, 2024)

We have two playoff games on the National Hockey League schedule Thursday night. The New York Rangers hope the third time is a charm as they look to polish off the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on TNT. The Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks play a pivotal Game 5 at Rogers Arena in British Columbia in the second half of the doubleheader. Puck drop is scheduled for approximately 10 p.m. ET. Let's get started!

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Best NHL Picks Tonight

New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes  

The Rangers once held a commanding 3-0 series lead, but the Hurricanes fought back for a win in Game 4 on home ice, 4-3, before pounding New York 4-1 at Madison Square Garden in Game 5.

Carolina's offense came alive in Game 5, overcoming more woes on special teams Monday night. The Hurricanes were 0-for-3 on the power play, and they're now just 1-for-20 (5.0%) through the first five games of the series. In addition, Carolina allowed a shorthanded goal to Jacob Trouba in Game 5, as New York held a 1-0 lead into third period.

Frederik Andersen (6-3-0, 2.46 GAA, .902 SV% - 2024 playoffs) stood tall in the crease, though, kicking aside 20 of the 21 shots he faced. It was the first time since Game 1 of the Islanders series that he allowed just a single goal into his net.

The Hurricanes came alive in the third period, as captain Jordan Staal scored his first goal of the postseason, while Evgeny Kuznetsov was credited with the game-winning tally at 6:39 of the third. It was a "Marty Party" just a few minutes later, as Jordan Martinook made it 3-1, and Martin Necas put a bow on the scoring with an empty-net goal.

Igor Shesterkin (7-2-0, 2.33 GAA, .924 SV% - 2024 playoffs) turned back 24 of the 27 shots he encountered, but it was not nearly good enough. He allowed seven goals on 58 shots in the past two games -- both losses -- after opening 7-0 in the playoffs.

Carolina is clearly playing loose and free, and it is playing with house money. The longer this series goes, the tighter the collar feels for New York. If the Rangers do not finish the Hurricanes off in front of a raucous crowd in Game 6, they still have a shot in Game 7. But anything can happen in a Game 7, and the Blueshirts don't want to go back to MSG, perhaps blowing a 3-0 series lead. That's a collapse many will not soon forget.

The smart money is on the Rangers, with the public betting the Hurricanes at a 2-to-1 clip. But how awesome would it be -- money aside -- to see a Game 7? Bank on New York, but go lightly.

The best play here is to go low on the total. We had just one goal in the first 43 minutes in Game 5, and both offenses will play it close to the vest, as one miscue can turn things on a dime.

  • Rangers ML (+138 at FanDuel)
  • Under 5.5 (-120 at BetMGM)

Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks  

Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch made the decision to bench All-Star goaltender Stuart Skinner, going with career backup Calvin Pickard for the hugely-important Game 4. It raised eyebrows across the NHL, as Pickard was making his first-ever postseason start at 32 years old. The New Brunswick kid allowed just two goals on 21 shots to pick up the giant win.

For the Canucks, Arturs Silovs (4-3-0, 2.71 GAA, .907 SV%, 1 SO - 2024 playoffs) made 27 saves on 30 shots in the Game 4 loss in Edmonton. Leon Draisaitl got him on the power play in the first period, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored late in the second to make it 2-0. However, Conor Garland and Dakota Joshua notched third-period goals to level things at two. The game looked like it might be going to overtime after Joshua's goal with just 101 seconds left. However, at 19:21, Evan Bouchard beat Silovs to send the Rogers Place crowd into euphoria.

These teams met just twice before in the postseason. This third-ever playoff matchup has been memorable, and it has been entertaining. And until Game 4, it had been high-scoring.

Look for Pickard and Silovs to get the nods in Game 5, although Thatcher Demko is reportedly rounding the corner in his recovery from a knee injury. If Silovs were to struggle in Game 5, could we see Demko summoned? Might Casey DeSmith make another showing?

Silovs hasn't been bad, and I still don't trust Pickard despite his Game 4 heroics. On the road, in hostile territory, I think the Canucks get the job done in this pivotal Game 5.

  • Canucks ML (+125 at ESPN Bet)

NHL Parlays Tonight

3-Way Parlay (+793 at FanDuel)

  • Rangers ML and Under 5.5 at Hurricanes - Same-Game Parlay (SGP) +302
  • Canucks ML (+122) vs. Oilers

2-Way Same-Game Parlay (+302 at FanDuel)

  • Rangers ML and Under 5.5 at Hurricanes SGP

2-Way Underdog Parlay (+428 at FanDuel)

  • Rangers ML (+138) at Hurricanes
  • Canucks ML (+122) vs. Oilers

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Dobish
Hockey writer, unskilled fourth liner, fantasy and gambling industry veteran, handicapper, FSWA's 2011 fantasy hockey writer of the year nominee and four-time FSWA award winner. Twitter: @danieledobish
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