Colorado vs Edmonton, Game 4 2022 Stanley Cup Playoff Expert Analysis

NHL Western Conference Finals : Colorado vs Edmonton Odds Game 4 Preview & Predictions

The Colorado Avalanche can punch a ticket to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2001 when they visit the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday. The Avs are favored on the NHL odds.

How to Bet Avalanche at Oilers NHL Hockey Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Colorado?

The Avalanche took a 3-0 lead with a 4-2 win in Edmonton on Saturday. J.T. Compher scored the deciding go-ahead goal in the third period. The Oilers looked for all the world like they might pull out a win in Game 3 after Ryan McLeod scored seven-plus minutes into the third period to tie the game at 2-2 while sending a jolt of energy into the crowd. Minutes later, though, Compher scored a go-ahead goal against Mike Smith to silence the crowd.

Valeri Nichushkin scored two goals in Saturday’s win. Nichushkin posted goals late in the first period and early in the second period. Both goals proved to be key ones, as the first tied up the game at 1-1 while the second pushed the Avalanche ahead by a 2-1 score. In 13 games this postseason, Nichushkin has tallied five goals and nine points, though he had not put in a point in this series until he managed his two goals on Saturday.

Pavel Francouz stopped 27-of-29 attempts in the win. With Darcy Kuemper sitting due to an upper-body injury sustained in a Game 1 win, Francouz received a second consecutive postseason start on Saturday. He’s expected to start again Monday. Kuemper was on the ice for Sunday’s optional practice but not expected to return yet.

The Avalanche did lose a key player for at least the rest of this series in forward Nazem Kadri. He left Game 3 after just one shift of 37 seconds as a result of being boarded by Edmonton’s Evander Kane. The 31-year-old Kadri had been centering one of Colorado’s most electric lines in this series alongside Arturri Lehkonen and Mikko Rantanen. Kadri had compiled four points (1G, 3A) through Game 3 in the WCF and had totaled 14 points (6G, 8A) during the Avalanche’s 13-game postseason run.

“His role will be filled by committee,” Coach Jared Bednar said. “That’s how big of a player he is for us. It could be one guy one night and a different guy the next. I’m comfortable with it. Obviously, it’s a huge loss, but it’s out of our control.”

Rantanen may be utilized at center in Kadri’s place. Compher logged some time as the second-line center in Game 3 after Kadri left the game.

After going without a goal through his first nine games of these playoffs, Compher netted his fifth in four games and sits tied with Rantanen for the most among all players in the Western Conference Final with three goals. Compher became the ninth different Colorado player to score a game-winning goal this postseason, which trails only 2001 (11) for the most in a single playoff year in Avalanche/Nordiques history.

Forward Andre Burakovsky (lower body) skated on Sunday. Burakovsky has sat out the past two contests after he was injured in Game 1.

Why Bet on Edmonton?

Connor McDavid and Ryan McLeod had the goals in Edmonton’s Game 3 loss. McDavid fed off the energy of the home crowd in immediate fashion, scoring a goal against Pavel Francouz just 38 seconds in. The Oilers would not score again until McLeod notched a game-tying goal seven-plus minutes into the third period. McDavid is now up to nine goals and 30 points (first in the NHL) across 14 games played in these playoffs.

Mike Smith surrendered three goals on 41 shots Saturday. Smith was a key part of the Oilers’ penalty kill, successfully preventing the Avalanche from cashing in on their five man-advantage chances. He had a handful of strong saves, but it was his few mistakes that made the difference.

Edmonton will be without forward Evander Kane for Game 4 as he was suspended for it due boarding Colorado’s Nazem Kadri in Game 3. Kane was assessed a five-minute major for the penalty but was not given a game misconduct for his actions. The NHL’s department of player safety held a hearing with Kane on Sunday and released its verdict of a one-game ban that same day. The league cited Kane’s history — three previous suspensions and two fines — as factors in its final ruling. Kane leads the NHL with 13 playoff goals, including two hat tricks.

To advance to the Stanley Cup Final, the Oilers will have to win four straight games as they did against their provincial rivals the Flames in the second round and avoid elimination as they did in their opening-round series with the Kings.

“I think we have a Game 7 mindset now,” forward Zach Hyman said. “Tough loss obviously, I thought we played well, but didn’t get the result and now we’ve got to take it one game at a time.”

 Game Trends

  • Avalanche are 16-5 in their last 21 Monday games.
  • Avalanche are 41-13 in their last 54 games following a win.
  • Avalanche are 55-19 in their last 74 overall.
  • Oilers are 8-18 in their last 26 games as an underdog.
  • Oilers are 2-5 in their last 7 Monday games.
  • Oilers are 2-6 in their last 8 playoff games as an underdog.

Expert Prediction: Oilers 4, Avalanche 3

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