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Thursday’s NHL Playoff Action Will Be Intense

Posted by Carter Brown on 5/1/2013 8:18:08 PM

On Tuesday, three of the NHL’s eight first round playoff series opened up and the teams did not disappoint. The betting sites expected old fashioned, grinding playoff hockey and that is what they got. Over the next couple of days, more series will open and those first few series will continue. The playoffs have shown just how much parity there really is in the NHL. When it takes the Chicago Blackhawks an overtime win to beat a Minnesota Wild team that has to resort to its backup goalie, then we have serious parity. The online betting experts are looking forward to Thursday’s playoff action.

Thursday - Ottawa Senators @ Montreal Canadiens  (Game 1)

After watching how the Wild handled the Blackhawks and how the St. Louis Blues beat the Los Angeles Kings, the fans in Montreal need to be a bit concerned. Defense is not the Canadiens’ strong suit, but it is becoming more and more obvious that defense is what is going to win the Stanley Cup this year. With goaltender Carey Price struggling, Montreal is going to need to be very careful against an aggressive and tough Ottawa Senators team.

Ottawa has nothing to lose in this series, so the team will come in loose and ready to play. As long as goaltender Craig Anderson can play well, then Ottawa has a very real chance to win this series.

Pick: Ottawa Senators

Thursday – New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals (Game 1)

As more time goes by, the sportsbook experts like the Rangers chances in this series less and less. New York does not have an answer to contain a player like Alexander Ovechkin. Nor does New York have the offensive capability to put sustained pressure on Washington goaltender Braden Holtby. The Capitals play to every weakness that the Rangers have and that is a bad sign for New York.

The Capitals get a chance to prove that the team can win under adversity. Washington had been struggling all season long and then turned it on the last few weeks of the season to win the division and make the playoffs. Now Washington has a chance to get the jump on New York in this series, and the Capitals will make the most of that chance.

Pick: Washington Capitals

Thursday – Los Angeles Kings @ St. Louis Blues (Game 2)

The Blues out worked the Kings in game one of this series and the result was a win for St. Louis. It also helped the Blues that goaltender Brian Elliott had the game of his life. In game two, the Kings will need to start putting more pucks on Elliott and they will also need to keep the Blues out the Los Angeles zone. There was a lot of time spent in the Los Angeles end of the ice in game one and that was one of the main reasons why St. Louis won the game.

Pick: Los Angeles Kings

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