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    Frank Franklin II / Associated Press

    The Colorado Avalanche wasted no time advancing past the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, sweeping the Nashville Predators in four games. No other team made it that easy.

    And they have now been joined by the St. Louis Blues, which won their Game 6 matchup against the Minnesota Wild Thursday to advance to the next round.

    Meanwhile, the following three series are heading to a Game 7: the Carolina Hurricanes vs. The Boston Bruins vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Edmonton Oilers vs. the Los Angeles Kings.

    How many more series will be heading to a winner-take-all matchup? We’ll find out Friday when there are three Game 6 matchups on the slate.

    Here’s a look at Friday’s schedule and odds, followed by predictions and storylines for those three contests.

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    NHL Playoffs 2022: Odds, Hot Takes, Top Storylines for May 13 Schedule

    Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press

    Game 6: New York Rangers (-125; bet $ 125 to win $ 100) at Pittsburgh Penguins (+105; bet $ 100 to win $ 105), 7 pm ET, TNT

    Game 6: Florida Panthers (-180) at Washington Capitals (+155), 7:30 pm ET, TBS

    Game 6: Calgary Flames (-160) at Dallas Stars (+140), 9:30 pm ET, TNT

    Odds via NHL “target =” _ blank “> DraftKings Sportsbook.

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    NHL Playoffs 2022: Odds, Hot Takes, Top Storylines for May 13 Schedule

    Frank Franklin II / Associated Press

    Of the three teams looking to stave off elimination on Friday, the New York Rangers are the only one that will have to do so on the road. They’ll be in Pittsburgh for a Game 6 matchup against the Penguins, which won each of the first two contests (Games 3 and 4) on home ice.

    New York was successful in extending the series in Game 5, winning 5-3 at Madison Square Garden. But with the next game set to take place at PPG Paints Arena, the Rangers are going to face a much greater challenge.

    That’s why the Penguins are going to win Game 6 and advance to the next round. Not only did they win Games 3 and 4 at home, but they also outscored the Rangers 14-6 in those contests. Pittsburgh has scored 17 goals over the past three games, so it’s finding ways to get the puck past New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin, and that will continue to be the case on Friday.

    The Rangers aren’t going to be the only team eliminated Friday. It’s also going to mark the end of the postseason for the Stars, which are hosting the Flames for a Game 6 matchup in Dallas.

    Calgary was down 2-1 in the series, but it bounced back to win Game 4 in Dallas. Then, the Flames took Game 5 on their home ice, moving one win away from a series victory. Over the past two games, they’ve outscored the Stars 7-2.

    Jacob Markstrom is on a roll, and the Calgary goaltender will be the key reason why the Flames win Game 6 to end the series. Dallas has scored only one goal in each of the past two games, and the Swede will continue to do a great job of protecting the net on Friday.

    So, while the Rangers and Stars have been competitive this postseason, neither will force a Game 7. The Penguins are too strong on home ice, while the Flames are the clear better team in their series.

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    NHL Playoffs 2022: Odds, Hot Takes, Top Storylines for May 13 Schedule

    Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

    Early in the second period of Wednesday’s Game 5, the Capitals appeared to be on their way to a 3-2 series lead. They scored the first three goals of the matchup and had all the momentum despite playing on the Panthers’ home ice.

    However, Washington blew that advantage, and Florida came away with a 5-3 win and the 3-2 series lead. Could the Panthers now use that momentum to win a third straight game and end this first-round series in Game 6 in Washington?

    It’s possible, but the prediction here is that the Caps will stave off elimination and force a Game 7 in Florida on Sunday. In order for that to happen, though, Washington will need to play better defense after allowing two late goals in its Game 4 loss and then five more in Game 5.

    But the main reason why the Capitals will win Game 6 is their offense. They showed how potent they can be in Game 3, which they won 6-1 at home. TJ Oshie has been on a tear, having scored five goals in the series, while Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov are top-tier offensive stars. If everything is clicking, the Caps can still bounce back.

    “I think we’re still showing ourselves how we have to play and creating chances, creating offense, keeping their offense in check,” Oshie said, for NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti. “We keep getting away from it. We’ve got to reset here.”

    Will the Caps win this series? Probably not, because the Panthers will be too tough to beat in Game 7. But Washington will at least get that opportunity by winning Game 6 on home ice.


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