Welcome back to NHL Predictions. Each day, we take a look at all the games going on around the NHL, giving analysis and our predictions on every game. Today, Round 2 of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs gets underway! Our featured game of the day is the Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers.
NHL Predictions: May 20th Including Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers
New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes
Series: Rangers 0-1 Hurricanes
Unsurprisingly, the first game in this series was a tightly contested affair. Another note that would likely come as no surprise to anyone is that it was a defensive battle. There were only 54 shots on goal between the two teams, and no powerplay goals for either team. It is unlikely that all the games will be this low-scoring, but don’t be surprised if there aren’t any barn burners.
Another trend from Game 1 that is unlikely to continue is that Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad were left off the stat sheet, with the two of them combining for only four shots on goal. The Rangers relied heavily on Igor Shesterkin, who put in another great performance, but will certainly need more goal support if New York hopes to make it through this series.
As for the Hurricanes, they did what they have done all season – play stellar defence and score just enough to get a positive result. It is, after all, their modus operandi. With how they played defensively, it doesn’t matter who is in between the pipes. That being said, Antti Raanta put in a very good 27-save performance. And with Frederik Andersen unlikely to play in this round, or even in the playoffs, the Hurricanes will be hoping Raanta will continue these performances.
This is going to be another one-goal game. Expect defensive play and goaltender performances to have a huge impact on this game.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 3-2
Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers
Series: Flames 1-0 Oilers
To say that the first game in this series was insane would be a gross understatement. The first game in the series was the highest-scoring Battle of Alberta in their playoff history. The unfortunate side of that is that Mike Smith, Mikko Koskinen, and Jacob Markstrom did not have good days respectively. While the rest of the series will see plenty of goals, it would be foolish to expect this to happen again.
For the Oilers, outside of their goaltending, everything seemed to go swimmingly. Connor McDavid does what he always does and had one goal and three assists. On top of that, Leon Draisaitl had three points and even Zach Hyman pitched in with two goals. All of this was, quite obviously, not enough to overcome their goaltending woes.
With how well Johnny Gaudreau, who had three assists in Game 1, and the rest of the Flames looked in Game 1, it’s tough to see this game going anyway but one – a Flames win. The Oilers will need to have better shot suppression, or otherwise, Smith and Koskinen will continue doing what they did in Game 1.
Expect another big Flames win in the second game of this series.
Flames win 5-2