The 2015-16 NHL Playoffs continue as we have reached the second round! Continue reading for our NHL Playoffs Round 2 Preview and Betting Tips.
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Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders
After overcoming the Flyers in the first round of the Playoffs, the New York Islanders have advanced to Round Two for the first time since 1993. They will meet the in-form Tampa Bay Lightning who disposed of the Detroit Red Wings in just 5 games. Tampa are looking to follow suit in the second round, having only lost to last years Stanley Cup Champions.
As much as New York don't want history to repeat itself, the lightning are looking too strong and should go onto repeat their 2004 dominance of the Islanders, in which they eliminated the Islanders in 5 games. New York will need to come out of the blocks firing, and if captain John Tavares can lead them well, could push Tampa right to 7 games, but again will fall short of reaching the Eastern Conference Final.
TIP: Tampa Bay Lightning @ TBA
Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins
In what looks to be the best match-up of the second round, league leaders Washington Capitals will play the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is shaping up to be a classic clash, as was the story in their amazing 7 game series back in 2009. The Pens blew past the New York Rangers in the round of 16 in 5 games, whilst The Caps took just one more game to eliminate The Flyers to secure their Round Two spot.
Pittsburgh have been described this season as the 'most exciting team' leading into the Playoffs, and their opposition will need to be wary of super-star Sidney Crosby and they will desperately want to shut down the dominance and skill of Washington captain, Alex Ovechkin. If The Pens can pull through and limit The Caps scoring chances, look for them to advance towards the Cup, but in a tight one.
Dallas Stars v St Louis Blues
Out with the old and in with the new. In a race to the Western Conference Final, St Louis scored a great 7 game knock-out of the defending Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, whilst Dallas held on to an early series lead over the Minnesota Wild to advance in 6 games. It is the first time in 5 years that the Hawks have not featured in a Second Round match-up, which is a credit to the Blues current form.
Despite St Louis winning 4 of the 5 games played against Dallas this season, the score lines told a different story. Two games progressed to Overtime, and a third into a regular season Shootout, proving this is another series that could go the 7-game distance. Having not met in the Playoffs since 2001, this is a rare chance for Dallas to erase the regular season form against St Louis, and send the Blues on the same path as Chicago, heading home without the Cup.
Nashville Predators v San Joe Sharks
Both of these teams can be credited for eliminating arguable Stanley Cup favourites this past week. San Jose took care for the LA Kings within a 5 game streak, whilst Nashville's battle with the Anaheim Ducks was a lot harder fought, being stretch to the full 7 matches. Despite knocking out the red-hot Ducks, the Predators have only won 2 out the 10 Playoff games in franchise history against the Sharks.
Nashville have never advanced any further than the Second round of the Playoffs, which could either bring out the best, or the worst in the team. The Sharks will be looking to ride the wave of excellent form they bought to round one and send themselves to the Conference Final for the first time in 5 years. If goaltender Martin Jones keeps his Playoff Save Percentage at an excellent 0.912%, then the Sharks will make life very tough for Nashville and should take the series in under 7 games.
TIP: San Jose @ TBA
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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