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2017 NHL Conference Final Predictions, Picks, Preview and Odds Update

2017 NHL Conference Final Predictions, Picks, Preview and Odds Update


And then there were four. Nashville, Anaheim, Pittsburgh and Ottawa are the last teams standing in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Who will emerge victorious in their respective conference finals and get that coveted shot to lift the prestigious Stanley Cup trophy. Read on below for a quick breakdown of the Pittsburgh-Ottawa and Nashville-Anaheim series as well as an odds update for those two mouth-watering matchups. While you’re at it, you can check out our preview of Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals between Golden State and San Antonio.

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Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks

Series Line: Nashville Predators (-280) vs. Anaheim Ducks (+210) – view all NHL lines

The Western Conference Final is off to a roaring start with Nashville pulling off a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1. Not bad for a team that is making its first ever appearance in this stage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Goalie Pekka Rinne has been instrumental in Nashville’s memorable run this postseason, posting a 9-2 record with a 1.41 goals-against-average and a .950 save percentage in this year’s playoffs.  The Preds netminder leads all goalies this postseason in wins, save percentage, goals-against average and shutouts.

If there’s one team, though, that can come back from this series deficit, it’s got to be Anaheim. The Ducks showed their mettle in the previous round against Edmonton, winning the series 4-3 even after losing the opening two games at home. The Ducks will need to address their power play woes, however, if they are to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2007. They were 0-for-4 on the power play against the Predators in Game 1 on Friday. The Preds haven’t scored with the man-advantage since Game 2 of the second round against the Oilers.

Writer’s Prediction

Nashville (-280) reaches the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in its history.

Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Series Line: Ottawa Senators (+110) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (-140) – view all NHL lines

Just as expected, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final between Ottawa and Pittsburgh was a tight and nervy affair. Bobby Ryan scored on a breakaway in overtime to lead the Senators to a thrilling 2-1 win. The Sens have made a living with these close games with 10 of their 13 outings this postseason decided by just one goal. Seven of those 10 games have required extra time. To their credit, Ottawa has won eight of those 10 one-goal games, including six of the seven games that have gone into overtime.

That’s dangerous, though, especially against a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins. The defending champs lead the NHL in scoring this postseason with 3.23 goals per game. The ones to watch for Pittsburgh in this best-of-7 series are Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Malkin passed Jaromir Jagr in the Penguins’ all-time playoff points list with his late goal against Ottawa in Game 1. Malkin, who leads the NHL in points this postseason (18), has scored 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in his playoff career against the Sens. Crosby has had some success in the playoffs against Ottawa as well, recording 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) in 21 career postseason games against Ottawa.

Writer’s Prediction

Ottawa (+110) stuns Pittsburgh in six games.

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Written by Joel

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