Stanley Cup odds: Predators open 2018 playoffs as early betting favorites

  • Stanley Cup odds: Predators open 2018 playoffs as early betting favorites

Stanley Cup odds: Predators open 2018 playoffs as early betting favorites

He leads the team with 42 goals, while team captain Sidney Crosby has recorded 60 assists on the year. "I don't know if there was a year to compare it to with so many possibilities down the stretch".

Cooper: "We've come this far, we might as well take it".

And the Penguins couldn't be more thrilled that it worked out how it did.

Meanwhile, the Kings finished strong with a 12-5-3 run and still have 11 players remaining from their 2013-14 Stanley Cup-winning club. Carl Hagelin queried with a grin. Anaheim usually plays well at the end of the season and heading into the postseason. Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang have all faced the Flyers three times in their careers. "A couple games we played them pretty good, and I think we just took too many penalties in one game and they capitalized". And though it happened a while ago, it can be hard to forget that matchup with just how odd that six-game affair was.

The Blue Jackets also have the second best goals against per game in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh scored five goals in each of the head-to-heads during the regular season en route to a 4-0 sweep of the season series, but two of those contests were overtime wins and the Penguins' defense is going to be tasked with shutting down a Claude Giroux who has returned to world-beating form.

"For whatever reason it was just a wild series and you won't see anything like that for a really long time", Crosby said. Boston won all three of its meetings with New Jersey this season, while it lost three of four to Toronto. But I think you have to learn those sometimes. "Whatever it was, it was in the moment, emotional". The difference in this series will be coaching and goaltending.

The Flyers couldn't have envisioned that the Devils were going to knock them off so easily in five games in the second round. It's easy to lose control of your emotions and that's where a certain level of discipline and diligence has to come into play. "That's really the only thing we're focusing on".

There was always a bit of a rivalry between the teams, stemming from early decades of the Flyers beating up the inept Pens, then having it shift nearly the other way when hockey lord and future franchise savior Mario Lemieux alighted. Right now, the Penguins are favored to win the playoff series, but the Flyers are unlikely to go down without a fight, and have a strong chance of becoming this year's underdog story.

Player to watch: Los Angeles centre Anze Kopitar. Of the four outings played between the two teams, three went to extra time and all three needed to go beyond overtime to decide a victor. Jakub Voracek is quite the offensive weapon himself who finished the year averaging a little over a point per game. Ryan Getzlaf and Cory Perry are going to have to be better than they were in the regular season.

VOORHEES, N.J. They're ready to party at the bar in the Marriott across the street, all adorned in their bumble-bee-colored clothes, trying to sneak their beers outside so that they can cross the street.

"Stay out of the box", he said with a smile.

Although they are now allowing the fewest number of shots against per game in the past two seasons, the Penguins have also suffered from goalie issues throughout the season, plagued with injuries and call-ups throughout the season. Finally we're here and we have a great matchup in front of us. The Wild are making their sixth straight playoff appearance, though they've been eliminated in the first round each of the last two seasons.