The NHL’s Western Conference Finals begin Tuesday night from Denver as the Colorado Avalanche host the Edmonton Oilers, a matchup of two of the best offenses in the sport. The Avs are favored for Game 1 on the NHL odds.
How to Bet Oilers at Avalanche NHL Hockey Odds & TV Info
The Avalanche won two of three vs. Edmonton during the regular season. Nathan MacKinnon paced the Avalanche with five points (3G, 2A). Valeri Nichushkin posted four points (2G, 2A) through the three games. For Edmonton, Evander Kane recorded the most points with five (4G, 1A), including a hat trick. Kailer Yamamoto was the next highest with four points (2G, 2A), and Connor McDavid handed out four assists. Darcy Kuemper started in all three games for the Avalanche and posted a .921 SV% and a 2.62 GAA. Mike Smith made two starts and recorded a 1-0-1 record, a .912 SV%, and a 2.99 GAA. The last postseason meeting between the Avs and Oilers was during the 1998 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Conference Quarterfinals where Edmonton won in Game 7.
Why Bet on Edmonton?
The Oilers advanced with a 5-4 overtime win over Calgary last Thursday. Connor McDavid scored the winner. McDavid had been held off the scoresheet during regulation time, but he came through when the Oilers needed him the most. It was McDavid’s seventh goal and 26th point in 12 playoff games this year.
Defensemen Darnell Nurse and Evan Bouchard as well as forwards Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi also found the back of the net for Edmonton. Hyman found the back of the net in every single game of the Oilers’ second round series. He’s up to eight goals and 12 points in 12 playoff games this year.
McDavid and Leon Draisaitl mark the sixth and seventh instances of a player recording 26 or more points through their first 12 games of a postseason, joining Wayne Gretzky (34 in 1983 & 32 in 1985), Mario Lemieux (29 in 1992), Mark Messier (26 in 1988) and Rick Middleton (26 in 1983).
Draisaitl, who had four assists in Game 5, recorded 2-15—17 in the second round and matched Boston’s Rick Middleton (5-12—17 in 1983 DF vs. BUF) for the most points in NHL history through five contests of a single playoff series. Draisaitl, who set the NHL playoff record for most consecutive contests with at least three points in Game 4, is just one shy of the longest streak of games with three-plus points in NHL history (regular season or playoffs) previously achieved by Jari Kurri (6 GP in 1992-93), Wayne Gretzky (6 GP in 1985-86) and Bobby Orr (6 GP in 1970-71) – all of whom did so in the regular season.
Draisaitl surpassed the 50-career playoff point mark (18-35—53) with his second four-point outing this postseason – 26 of his 53 points have come in just 12 games during the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. McDavid is the seventh player in the past 40 years to win the Art Ross Trophy and go on to appear in the Conference Finals in that same postseason. Among that cohort, four went on to win the Stanley Cup: Evgeni Malkin (2009), Martin St. Louis (2004), Mario Lemieux (1992) and Wayne Gretzky (1987, 1985 & 1984).
Mike Smith stopped 32 of 36 shots in the clinching win. Most of the damage came in the second period when Smith allowed three goals on 18 shots. He also surrendered what could have been the game-winning goal in the third frame, but it was called back over a controversial ruling on a kicking motion.
The Oilers and the Avalanche may be blessed with the two fastest players in the NHL in McDavid and Nathan Mackinnon, but both teams play with a high pace in their transition game. It’s the first-ever playoff meeting between No. 1 overall picks MacKinnon and McDavid.
“Dynamic skaters,” Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said about the Avalanche team. “I think we’ve played Colorado well throughout the year. They have some natural gifts, but so do we. Certainly, as we weave our way through the series, they are going to have some moments but we’re going to have good moments as well. We’re going to do some things to try and prepare our team for the level of speed and skill that will be on the ice.”
Why Bet on Colorado?
It’s rare for two powerhouse offensive teams like the Avalanche and Oilers to meet in later rounds of the postseason, when they’re also pacing the playoff field in average goals-per-game (4.33 for the Avalanche, 4.30 for the Oilers).
The Avalanche advanced with a 3-2 win in St. Louis on Friday. Darren Helm had the series-clinching goal with 5.6 seconds remaining in regulation as the Avalanche advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time in 20 years and ninth time in franchise history overall. Colorado’s six previous trips all came within the club’s first seven seasons after relocating from Quebec in 1995-96.
Helm (59:54) scored the second latest regulation-time series-clinching goal in NHL history, behind only the winner by Maple Leafs forward Nick Metz (59:55) in Game 6 of the 1942 Semifinals over 80 years ago. Helm was also involved in the fifth latest series clincher in League history – he skated with Detroit when Johan Franzen beat Columbus goaltender Steve Mason at 19:13 of the third period in Game 4 of the 2009 Conference Quarterfinals.
Helm (35 years, 126 days) became the oldest player in Avalanche/Nordiques franchise history to score a series-clinching goal, eclipsing the previous mark set by Andrew Brunette (32 years, 249 days) in Game 5 of the 2006 Conference Quarterfinals.
J.T. Compher scored a pair of goals in the victory. Compher tied the game at 1-1 5:19 into the second period and he tied the match at 2-2 just past the midway mark of the third period. He had two assists in nine matches this postseason going into Friday’s contest. Compher ended a 16-game goalless drought in the Stanley Cup Playoffs dating back to last year.
Gabriel Landeskog was on the ice for Monday’s practice ahead of Game 1. Landeskog hasn’t been taking part in most of the team’s on-ice sessions during the playoffs. Monday’s skate wasn’t a full practice with contact, but Landeskog should still be expected to be good to go for the series opener versus the Oilers. He has six goals and 11 points in 10 games this postseason after returning from knee surgery.
- Oilers are 19-7 in their last 26 games following a win.
- Oilers are 5-2 in their last 7 vs. Central.
- Oilers are 5-2 in their last 7 road games.
- Avalanche are 41-16 in their last 57 vs. Western Conference.
- Avalanche are 30-12 in their last 42 playoff games as a favorite.
- Favorite is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings.