The Pittsburgh Penguins were sitting pretty, up 3-1 through four games in their series with the New York Rangers. Then the wheels (or skates) fell off.
Pittsburgh lost the next three contests, surrendering 14 total goals in the process.
A promising regular season that produced over 100 points is now over. That’s how quickly things turn in the NHL playoffs.
Even though New York eliminated the Pens, hockey fans in the Mountain State still have lots to look forward to. There are four quality series going on at the moment, and West Virginia sportsbooks feature lots of betting markets.
Each series includes a bunch of different props, in addition to the team and player futures available.
NHL playoffs odds at WV sportsbooks
Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers
The Rangers advanced to face Carolina, who earned first in the Metro Division this season with 116 points. They looked good in the opener, containing the Hurricanes on their home ice until the final moments of Game 1.
Carolina’s Sebastian Aho scored late in the third to force overtime, where Ian Cole didn’t waste much time. He buried the clinching goal about three minutes into the extra session, giving the Hurricanes a 1-0 series lead.
With a game in hand, DraftKings WV Sportsbook lists Carolina as an even bigger favorite heading into the next contest. It’s available at -360 to win the series, compared to the Rangers at +280.
It’s understandable why books show the Hurricanes with a solid edge, but that doesn’t mean the Rangers can’t win this series. They’re playing well and can flip the odds in their favor with a single road victory.
Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
The other series in the East is interesting. The odds at WV sportsbooks are identical to the Rangers-Hurricanes matchup, despite there being one more game played.
Tampa Bay took down the Panthers again on Thursday night with a crazy last-second shot to grab a commanding 2-0 advantage in the series. The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions look like a real threat to do it again.
The Lightning won five of their last six after falling behind 3-2 in the first round against Toronto.
Books give Florida more respect than others because of its incredible regular season. The Panthers won the Presidents’ Trophy this year with 122 points.
DraftKings’ odds provide some optimism that they can turn it around. They’re shown at +280 to make the comeback, while Tampa is now at -360.
Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers
The Flames and Oilers participated in one of the most exciting postseason games ever the other night. Calgary got the win after an incredible 9-6 contest.
Both sides got to the conference semifinals after seven games in the first round. Edmonton defeated Los Angeles, and Calgary took down Dallas.
The Oilers trail in the series; however, it’s not for a lack of effort. They fell behind 6-2 in that opening tilt and fought back to tie things up early in the third period.
Edmonton doesn’t get any points for trying, but it is certainly confident it can continue to score in this series.
At the moment, BetMGM Sportsbook WV gives Calgary odds of -350 to win three more games to get to the conference finals. Bettors can take the Oilers at +275 to win this series.
Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues
Colorado and St. Louis are two games into their matchup, with the two squads splitting in Denver.
The Avs came up just short of Florida in the race for the most points this year. They’ve been favored at the majority of sportsbooks to win the title all season long.
With the series transitioning to St. Louis, BetMGM still shows Colorado with a sizable edge. The Avs are available with odds of -300, whereas the Blues have odds of +250.
St. Louis is considered the underdog but appears up to the task. It won 4-1 in Game 2, following a 3-2 loss in OT. The home ice should certainly help the Blues’ case in the next few tilts as well.
Penguins can’t close out the Rangers
Pittsburgh fans thought it might be a difficult series against New York after they saw their goaltending issues compounded in Game 1. The Penguins lost their backup option in Casey DeSmith and turned to Louis Domingue.
Starter Tristan Jarry was already on the shelf.
Domingue struggled a bit but did enough to get his team into a 3-1 series lead. He played well in Game 4, stopping 22 of 24 shot attempts in the win.
He gave up four more goals apiece in the next two games, deciding to go back to an eligible Jarry for Game 7, an easy one. Unfortunately, the Penguins couldn’t hold their 3-2 lead entering the final period and eventually lost in overtime.
It’s extremely difficult to win Stanley Cup, and this series provided some insight into that.
Now that the offseason is here in Pittsburgh, the attention turns to potential free agents on the roster. Two of the biggest names tied to the franchise’s success of late are both up for new deals this summer, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.
It will be interesting to see how the front office approaches this group of players as they prepare for another run at the cup.