This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
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Best NHL Bets and Props Tonight
How great is it for the NHL that its latest expansion franchise is having playoff success in just its second season? That's two straight expansion franchises that have made noise in their first postseason action early in their tenures. While the Kraken are still far from repeating the Cup run that the Golden Knights pulled off in their first season, they've been impressive thus far. They beat the defending-champion Avalanche in the first round and just took a 2-1 series lead against the Stars in this round. They roll all four forward lines, their defenders eat pucks and bang bodies, and Philipp Grubauer is standing tall in net. They crushed the Stars in Game 3 by a score of 7-2, and were up 4-0 after a scoring spree in the first 10 minutes of the second period. They're hot. They're feeling it. And, you know what? I'm feeling 'em, too. Let's get frisky tonight.
Kraken ML +120
I don't think we'll have a sleepy first period like we did in Games 1 and 3, so I'm taking the first-period total over, too.
Total First Period over 1.5 -120
Although the Kraken are definitely doing it by committee right now, three players have really stood out to me up front: Jaden Schwartz, Yanni Gourde and Oliver Bjorkstrand. Schwartz and Gourde both have won Cups with previous clubs and looked so ready for postseason action. Schwartz has points in two of three in this series, Gourde has points in every game and I think Bjorkstrand is due.
Jaden Schwartz (SEA) over 0.5 points +100
Yanni Gourde (SEA) over 0.5 points -105
Oliver Bjorkstrand (SEA) over 2.5 shots on goal -130
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The Stars are too talented and too deep to not mount a furious pushback tonight. They may have to do so with star defenseman Miro Heiskenan not being 100 percent, or even able to go at all after being hit in the face with a shot in Game 3. Roope Hintz has been a shots monster through three games in this series, going for five, four and four. Joe Pavelski returned to the lineup with five goals in Games 1 and 2 combined, but was held off the scoresheet in Game 3. Rookie Wyatt Johnston has also shown flashes with seven shots through the first two games before getting blanked in Game 3. Keep an eye on these guys tonight with Heiskanen banged up.
Roope Hintz (DAL) over 2.5 shots on goal -115
Joe Pavelski (DAL) over 0.5 points -145
Wyatt Johnston (DAL) over 1.5 shots on goal -180