Six goals Not Enough for Oilers
The Western Conference Final between Edmonton and Colorado was expected to be an offensive showcase and the teams did not disappoint in Tuesday’s opening game. There were 13 different players who had at least one goal in Colorado’s crazy 8-6 victory.
With all the star power in this series, it was Colorado’s J.T. Compher who was the only player with more than one goal. Compher had no goals and two assists in his first nine playoff games this year but he has back-to-back games with two goals.
The Avalanche and Oilers are the highest-scoring teams in the playoffs. Colorado averaged 4.64 goals per game compared to 4.46 by Edmonton. The teams combined for 14 goals with each team having just two power-play opportunities.
According to the Las Vegas odds, Colorado (-110) is the favorite to win the Stanley Cup championship while Edmonton comes in at +800 which is down from +550 after Tuesday’s loss. The series price for the Avalanche moved from -250 to -450 after the Game 1 win.
McDavid, Draisaitl Shine for Oilers in Game 1 loss
The Edmonton Oilers duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have combined to win five of the last six NHL scoring titles. Now the teammates are proving that their scoring prowess isn’t limited to the regular season.
McDavid had a goal and two assists in Tuesday’s loss to Colorado giving him 11 multi-point games in 13 postseason games this season. Draisaitl had two assists. He has six straight multi-point games with one goal and 15 assists over that span.
McDavid leads the NHL with 29 points in the playoffs while Draisaitl has 28 points. The next closest player is Mika Zibanejad of the New York Rangers who has 19. Another number wasn’t as impressive as both players had -1 defensive ratings.
McDavid and Draisaitl assisted on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ power-play goal with 7:24 left to play to bring Edmonton within a goal. Edmonton had six shots on goal the rest of the way including three in a span of 14 seconds in the final minute before Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog put the game away with an empty-net goal.
“They’re a real good team,” McDavid said. “You give them chances, they’re going to bear down and score. We’ve got to defend. At the same time, we found a way to get six, so it was real similar to Game 1 last round.”
Edmonton lost 9-6 to Calgary in the first game of the previous series and then won the next four games.
The NHL betting lines total has gone over in five of Edmonton’s last six games.
Avalanche Strike First Once Again
The reward for having the best record in the Western Conference during the regular season is being able to open each playoff series playing at home. As the Colorado Avalanche did in the series against Nashville and St. Louis, they won the opening game in the series. They have trailed for less than 17 minutes in those three games.
Ten of the 12 forwards had at least one point. Along with Compher, the Big Three of Nathan MacKinnon, Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen each had a goal and an assist as Colorado scored at least five goals a total of six times in 11 playoff games.
Colorado did lose two home games in the previous round against St. Louis so for all the offensive brilliance in the opening game, Colorado will need to win on Thursday to hold onto the home-ice advantage they spent the season earning.
“I think it’s just a good one for us tonight,” Compher said. “We’re going to have some stuff to clean up. A lot of guys chipped in offensively tonight, but I think we have a lot to clean up defensively.”
Colorado did record four of its 21 blocked shots after Edmonton pulled within a goal with 7:24 to play so that is something that the Avalanche can build on.
Something to consider for those who bet online, four of the Avalanche’s last five games have gone over the total.
Oilers vs Avalanche Head-to-Head
Five of the last eight games between the teams have featured at least eight goals. Edmonton was 3-1 in those contests before Colorado’s Game 1 win.
The Avalanche have taken three of the last four matchups. The Avalanche have won five of the last six games decided by one goal.
Edmonton outscored Colorado 9-7 in three games during the regular season. The teams almost matched those goal totals in the series opener.
These teams haven’t met in the postseason since 1998 with Edmonton limiting Colorado to one goal in the final three games to win the series in seven games.
Colorado has won its last four home games against the Oilers.
Oilers vs Avalanche Game Information
- Game: Oilers (49-27-6 in the regular season); Avalanche (56-19-7)
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver
- Day/Time: Thursday, June 2, 8 p.m. ET
- Oilers vs Avalanche Live Stream: NHL.TV
Oilers vs Avalanche Betting Lines
|Edmonton Oilers||+1½ -150||+160||7 -135o||3½ -105o
|Colorado Avalanche||-1½ +130||-180||7 +115u||4½ +105o
Oilers vs Avalanche Prediction
There are questions with both starting goalies. Edmonton’s Mike Smith was pulled in the second period after allowing six goals on 25 shots. Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper also didn’t make it through the second period. He left the game with an upper-body injury.
Mikko Koskinen stopped 20 of 21 shots for the Oilers. Pavel Francouz allowed three goals on 21 shots. There wasn’t an immediate update on the status of Kuemper. Francouz did win two games in the Nashville series after Kuemper suffered an eye injury.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) June 1, 2022
Edmonton was +5 in faceoffs and outhit Colorado 46-34. Both teams did a good job of staying out of the penalty box with just two penalties being called on each team. That will need to continue since Colorado leads all NHL teams by scoring on 35.5 percent of its power-play chances in the playoffs. The Oilers aren’t far behind at 29.3 percent.
Game 1 had a total of seven goals and the teams went by that on a Rantanen goal just 4:38 into the second period. Colorado scored a total of three goals in the second game of the series against Nashville and St. Louis so don’t be surprised to find goals harder to come by in Game 2.
Even with the questions surrounding their goal, it is hard to pick against Colorado.
Pick: Under 7
Pick: Avalanche -180
Pick: Avalanche -1½ (+130)