This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
Tonight the series shift to the lower-seeded team's barn for Game 3 in each respective matchup. We've had some surprises in this slate. The Panthers stole a game in Boston, and did so rather handily at that. The Kings also stole a game in Edmonton and have kept it pretty close with the high-flying Oilers. The Wild even got their own gift in outlasting the Stars in a double overtime contest in Game 1 to take a 1-1 tie back to Minnesota. Just the Hurricanes got out of the first two games with a 2-0 lead, and did so with a bit of luck from a missed high sticking call that helped setup the OT game-winner in Game 2. It should be a fun Friday night of playoff hockey, so let's take a look at the best NHL bets for tonight!
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Check out DraftKings this postseason and sign up using the DraftKings promo code for $150 in bonus bets.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Best Bets Tonight
Hurricanes vs Islanders
It looked like the Isles were going to take Game 2, but Jaccob Slavin banked a shot off of Ilya Sorokin's head to tie it up in the third and then Jesper Fast potted the game-winner in overtime after an Islander D man Scott Mayfield got clipped with a high stick that went unpenalized. The Islanders kept it close in game 1 too, and are a considerably better team on home ice than they are on the road. The Canes lost Teuvo Teravainen to a broken hand for the rest of the series, which is a huge blow to their already mundane offense. And although they were a decent road team in the regular season this year, the Hurricanes failed to win a single postseason game on the road last year, going 0-6 in rounds 1 and 2. Their last playoff road win was June 3, 2021. They might get one this year, but I don't think it happens tonight, especially if the hockey gods swing the luck in the Isles' favor.
Islanders ML -110
Bruins vs Panthers
Perhaps the absence of captain Patrice Bergeron is really hurting the Bruins after all. The best regular season team in NHL history has looked a little underwhelming in 2 games so far. Sure, they did win Game 1, but it was very convincing, and then they got smoked in Game 2. The Panthers' big guns are firing on all cylinders. Matthew Tkachuk was essentially born for the playoffs. Brandon Montour is playing big-time minutes on the back end and potted 2 goals in Game 2. Sam Bennett sparked some new energy into the Cats' offense with his gritty style of play too. But how can we sleep on the Bruins? They have the depth to match regardless of Bergeron's status, and it's hard to imagine Alex Lyon outduels Linus Ullmark for a second straight game.
Bruins ML -155
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Stars vs Wild
If you want a quintessential playoff battle, check this series out. Hard-hitting. Back-and-forth scoring. High drama. Heated rivalry. This series has all the makings for a barn burner. The Stars rebounded from a heartbreaking double-overtime loss in Game 1 for a huge 7-3 victory in Game 2. But bringing this series tied back to Minnesota for 2 games definitely swings in the Wild's favor. They're a tough team at home and their fanbase goes literally wild for playoff hockey. They'll definitely throw everything they've got at the Stars. Fortunately, Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger is a Minnesota native, and he'll be able to handle everything and more.
Stars ML -115
Oilers vs Kings
Even though the series is tied 1-1, the Oilers have basically dominated play… for most of it. They held 2 goal leads after the first period in both games and completely outshot the Kings in those frames too. But they've failed to bolt the coffin because the Kings have clawed back each night, winning Game 1 in overtime and fighting to the final buzzer in a 1-goal loss in Game 2. So far the two most visible superstars on the ice are not actually named Connor McDavid. Leon Draisaitl already has 3 goals in 2 games for Edmonton, while Adrian Kempe is making a noticeable impact for Los Angeles. Is this the game that McDavid gets loose? It's not for lack of chances, and heck, the Oilers peppered Joonas Korpisalo with 77 total shots across the first two contests overall. Can the Kings keep one of the highest-scoring teams of all time bottled up for another night? I definitely see the Kings getting at least one more win this series, but I think McDavid really finds his footing in this one and helps power the Oilers to a big road win.
Oilers ML -150