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NHL Second Round Pairings Set

The problem with the NHL’s new playoff format will be on display in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In the Eastern Conference, the two best teams – Washington and Pittsburgh – will be facing off. The New York Rangers and Ottawa will meet in the other series.

Anaheim and Edmonton will square off in the West, while Nashville and the St. Louis Blues meet in the other series.

Nashville and St. Louis is -110 both ways on the series price. The Blues have home ice advantage, although bettors were more impressed with Nashville sweeping the Blackhawks. St. Louis beat a Minnesota team that slumped down the stretch badly. The Blues’ win was more impressive after parting ways with free agent to be Kevin Shattenkirk.

The Ducks are -130 over the Edmonton Oilers, while the underdog takes back +110. This series can be seen as a bit of a passing of the torch. Anaheim’s key players aren’t getting any younger and Connor McDavid is ready to take over Sidney Crosby’s title as best player in the league. Adding Adam Larsson was huge for Edmonton and their playoff push.

The Rangers are -160 over Ottawa and the Senators are +140. Boston was -200 to defeat Ottawa so this line is a bit of a surprise. New York was the best road team in the league this year and being away from home won’t hurt. But the Rangers may have problems with the Senators’ speed, making this an interesting series.

Crosby has gotten the best of Alexander Ovechkin in the playoffs and the Washington star wants to change that badly. It’s a shame these two teams are meeting here instead of the Conference Finals. But the league and the players both voted on the new playoff format so we’re stuck with it. Toronto pushed the Capitals hard each game, as they were decided by one goal. But the Penguins are going to try and do the same and have better sill. Washington is -120 and the Penguins are even money in what should be a great series.

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