How Game 1 Upsets Have Shifted NHL Playoff Series Odds
Game 1 of any Stanley Cup Playoff series is far from the most important contest, but it does set the tone in a major way.
And for fans of NHL betting, it can seriously shift a team’s opening odds to advance.
There were some major upsets and a few teams asserting their dominance during an exciting few nights of opening games, so lets see how the odds for each series have changed.
How Game 1 Results Changed NHL Playoff Series Odds 2019
Tampa Bay Lightning (-223) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (+175)
Starting with the first game of the playoffs and the biggest upset of them all, the Lightning came out hot but cooled down as the game dragged on coughing up a 3-0 lead to the Wild Card Jackets.
Victor Hedman's health coming back from a potential concussion was a major question mark going in, and he looked off his game during the Columbus comeback. Particularly on a huge goal from David Savard.
The Jackets completely stunned the Presidents' Trophy winners, but oddsmakers still expect the Bolts to rebound and take the series. The initial gap in the odds has been closed, however, and the sooner Tampa Bay can get veteran defenceman Anton Stralman back, the better.
Dallas Stars (-125) vs. Nashville Predators (+105)
The Stars’ hopes were always going to largely rest on the big shoulders of Ben Bishop, and he stole the show in Nashville Wednesday night.
In the first meeting of the Cowboy Series, Bishop stopped 30 of 32 shots he faced and held off a furious comeback attempt from the Preds in the third period.
On offense, goals from rookie defenseman and rising star Miro Heiskanen, trade deadline pickup Mats Zuccarello and veteran sniper Alexander Radulov gave the Stars the early edge over Nashville.
Toronto Maple Leafs (-162) vs. Boston Bruins (+140)
There’s still a lot that can happen in this series, but Toronto definitely made a statement in their 4-1 win in Boston.
As expected, the Maple Leafs look much more imposing with John Tavares in the lineup and caught the Bruins on some phenomenal passing plays and odd man rushes throughout the contest.
Boston looked slow and the Maple Leafs looked young and fast, but we’ll see if that trend continues as the series progresses.
New York Islanders (-141) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (+115)
The Islanders made their postseason return to Nassau Coliseum and the place was rocking all game long.
It was one of the more thrilling games on our list as the Isles won a back-and-forth bout in overtime thanks to a Josh Bailey putback after Matthew Barzal hit the post.
While the Penguins and all their experience are more than capable of bouncing back, New York took over as the slim series favorite. One of the Pens' major acquisitions at the deadline, defenceman Erik Gudbranson, suffered a lower body injury, and his status is a game-time decision for Game 2.
San Jose Sharks (-182) vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights (+150)
The Sharks broke the ice on what was expected to be a very competitive series with an impressive 5-2 victory over last year’s darlings the Golden Knights.
Erik Karlsson’s health was a question mark coming into the matchup, but he made his presence felt with two assists.
The Sharks’ offense started the playoffs clicking on all cylinders meaning Vegas needs to get its act together quickly if it wants to keep hopes of repeating last season’s run alive.
St. Louis Blues (-200) vs. Winnipeg Jets (+165)
Jordan Binnington played in his first ever playoff game Wednesday night, but you wouldn't have been able to tell. He stood on his head despite giving up an early one to Patrik Laine and the Blues came back to earn a series lead in perhaps the toughest road atmosphere in the league.
The Jets aren't out of this yet by any means, and it was good to see Laine get on the board after what's been an underwhelming season for the Finn to say the least.
But this result was all about the Blues defense and goaltending doing what it's been doing heading into the postseason as one of the toughest, hottest teams in the NHL.
Calgary Flames (-435) vs. Colorado Avalanche (+320)
Another goalie who erased some doubts, Mike Smith was stunning in his Calgary postseason debut looking like he did in a Coyotes uniform against the Blackhawks back in 2012.
That was the last time Smith suited up for the playoffs, but he single-handedly kept the game scoreless while Colorado looked dangerous in the early going.
The Flames took over emphatically and have thus widened the gap oddswise between themselves and the Avs, who have got to be wondering what they can do in Game 2 to get one past the 37-year-old netminder.
Washington Capitals (-304) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (+230)
The Caps avoided falling into the same trap as the Lightning despite giving up two late goals to trim a 3-0 lead down to 3-2. Washington hunkered down on defense and focused on keeping the puck out of the net at all costs and it paid off.
The Canes showed some spark after a tough start, but Thursday was a preview of the kind of defense they'll have to penetrate if they have any shot of pulling the upset.
Thanks to the strong finish and status as defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Capitals are heavily favored now to win three more games and advance.