NHL Playoffs Odds and Predictions for Confirmed First-Round Series

NHL Playoffs Odds and Predictions for Confirmed First-Round Series

We’re into the final week of the 2022-23 National Hockey League (NHL) season. Teams have just one or two games remaining at this point, and almost all of the playoff spots have been decided, with the exception of the wild card spots in the Eastern Conference.

As of April 12, the Florida Panthers had secured the first of two wild-card spots in the East, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders still in contention for the final spot. Pittsburgh is one point back of the Islanders, and both teams have one game left.

While the complete NHL playoff bracket won’t be set until Friday, there’s already been a few series confirmed. Let’s take a look at some of the first-round match-ups.


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Confirmed First-Round Series


Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Maple Leafs and Lightning have been locked in as opponents since Christmas. The Boston Bruins had a historic season, leaving Toronto and Tampa Bay to battle for the second and third playoff spots in the Atlantic Division. The Leafs will once again have home-ice advantage in a rematch of last year’s first round and are better equipped to handle the Lightning’s potent offense.

Prediction: Toronto in 6

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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers

Carolina has been dominant all season but has started to slide a little heading into the playoffs, while the Panthers have been playing some of their best hockey of the year. That doesn’t change that Carolina is a much more complete team with better goaltending and defense.

Prediction: Carolina in 5

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New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers

Home ice has yet to be decided in this series, but there won’t be much travel involved regardless for the Metropolitan Division rivals. This has the potential to be the most heated and intense series in the first round and should live up to that billing. New York has a massive advantage between the pipes and certainly has more star power on offense. This will come down to the performance of the Devils‘ young stars like Jack Hughes, Dawson Mercer, and Timo Meier.

Prediction: New York in 7

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Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

The Oilers and Kings will meet for the second time in two seasons. Edmonton beat LA in an entertaining seven-game series in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Kings have been one of the most underappreciated teams this season and can certainly compete with the Oilers. Still, it’s hard to imagine anyone stopping Connor McDavid – the generational talent became just the sixth player since the 1983-84 season to record 150 points this year and had 33 points in 16 playoff games last season.

Prediction: Edmonton in 5

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