This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
Stanley Cup Bets for May 4: Expert NHL Picks and Props for Kraken vs. Stars
The Seattle Kraken and Dallas Stars meet up in Game 2 of their best-of-seven Western Conference Semifinals series on Thursday night at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
The opening game in this series was a wild one. Stars veteran Joe Pavelski's back was likely hurting after the game, as he was carrying the entire offense.
Pavelski opened the scoring with his first playoff goal at 2:25, before Jaden Schwartz answered with his third of the postseason at 11:25. Pavelski responded just 53 seconds later, and it was Pavelski 2, Kraken 1.
Justin Schultz posted his second of the playoffs, and Oliver Bjorkstrand remained white-hot with a goal just 11 seconds after his teammate, flipping the lead to Seattle up 3-2. Jordan Eberle helped the Kraken pile on another goal just 41 seconds late, giving the visitors three goals in a span of 1:52. Over bettors were beaming, as the total went high in the first 15:20 of the game.
Oddly enough, someone turned the offensive spigot off, as the second period was scoreless. There was no more scoring until 9:50 of the third period when Pavelski notched his third goal and the hats were flying at American Airlines Center. Pavelski returned at 13:23 of the third, giving him a fourth tally on the night. The NHL record is five goals in a postseason game and Pavelski was close to immortality.
However, there was no more scoring in regulation, and overtime was needed to decide a winner. That's when two-time Stanley Cup winner Yanni Gourde tapped into his postseason experience, notching his second marker of the playoffs and giving Seattle a win in Game 1.
Pavelski had the four goals, but no wins. Oddly enough, Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl also notched four goals Wednesday night, and his team fell in Game 1, too.
The Kraken went 26-11-4 on the road during the regular season, and Seattle won three of four games in Colorado in the first round against the defending Stanley Cup champs.
This Seattle team is unflappable on the road and will be a tough out for Dallas in Game 2. It wouldn't be surprising to see overtime needed again, in another close game, but this time I expect Jake Oettinger and the Stars to hang on for a win, leveling the series before things shift back to the Emerald City for Games 3 and 4.
NHL Money Line Bets for Kraken vs. Stars
- Kraken PL (+1.5, -154 at FanDuel)
As far as the total is concerned, Game 1 was wild with the Over being decided in the first 15-plus minutes. Expect a little more defense in Game 2, although the Over is still the play.
Despite the big offensive totals in Game 1, the Under is 6-1 in the past seven games for the Kraken on the road. The Under is also 5-1 in the past six games following a win for Seattle while cashing at a 4-1 clip in the past five when playing on a day of rest.
For the Stars, the Under is 7-2-1 in the past 10 games at home, although, again, Game 1 was an easy Over result. The Over is actually 13-3-5 in the past 21 games in the Conference Semifinals round, too.
The Over is also 4-0 in the previous four meetings in Game 2, as well. I don't think we have as many goals as Game 1, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Stars skate away with a 4-3 OT win. After all of the goals in the opening game, it is surprising the books have this total set at 5.5 at most shops.
NHL Totals Bets for Kraken vs. Stars
- Over 5.5 (+110 at BetMGM)
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NHL Player Props for Kraken vs. Stars
Looking at the NHL player props for Game 2, we have some intriguing plays for each team in this Western Conference matchup.
Seattle's Oliver Bjorkstrand has picked up the pace lately, notching two goals in the decisive Game 7 win against the Avalanche, before potting his third of the postseason in Game 1 against Oettinger and the Stars. After managing just two assists and a minus-4 rating in the first six games of the playoffs, he is making up for lost time. For a chance to more than double your initial wager, he is worth a roll of the dice.
- Oliver Bjorkstrand Anytime Goal Scorer (+240 at BetMGM)
Pavelski posted four goals in Game 1, accounting for all of the offense for the Stars. While I don't expect anything close to his opening game showing, look for Pavelski to at least get on the board for one point. He needs just a single assist or goal to make this a winning prop play, and it's hard to envision Pavelski getting blanked in Game 2.
- Joe Pavelski Over 0.5 Points (-165 at BetMGM)