Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues will face each other on Thursday evening in the Western Conference semi-finals Game 2. The home side wants to remain unbeaten in the post-season and defend the home-ice advantage. The visitors showed they could stun the opponents, and they will search for a chance to do that.
Colorado has shaken off some rustiness and opened the series with a win. The hosts want to continue in the same fashion and go to St. Louis with a 2-0 advantage. On the other hand, the away side was close to an upset, but they wasted the chance to take the lead. Nevertheless, they want to give it another shot on Thursday evening.
Colorado Avalanche – Can they keep winning?
It wasn’t easy on Tuesday evening for the Avalanche, but they eventually booked a 3-2 victory after overtime to take the lead in this tie. Although they trailed after the first third, the hosts managed to turn around the result in the second period. However, Colorado needed to go overtime to defend the home-ice advantage, and they succeeded. It was their fifth straight success in the playoffs, and the Avs still haven’t tasted a defeat. They fired 54 shots in the previous match, and 13 of them were in the additional time. Colorado also won 15 faceoffs more than their rivals while having only two minutes of penalty time.
Cale Makar has been the most productive player in Colorado’s offense in the playoffs, being the team’s best assistant with seven and having ten points. Nathan MacKinnon tops the scoring charts with five goals and has seven points, while Gabriel Landeskog produced eight. Mikko Rantanen and Devon Toews have combined for eleven pts, while two other skaters chipped win with four points each. Regarding the goaltending, Darcy Kuemper made four apps, and he should be back from injury for this game.
Expected Line-Up: Darcy Kuemper, Erik Johnson, Cale Makar, Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky, Nathan MacKinnon
with best odds
St. Louis Blues – Will they make an upset this time?
The Blues were not easy to crack in Game 1, but they failed to a narrow 3-2 defeat after overtime. They were focused on defense, and Jordan Binnington was frustrating the opponent’s offense with 51 saves in that game. However, St. Louis will have to search for another chance to stun their rivals, and they’ll have it on Thursday evening. Despite having only six penalty minutes, the visitors had more than double shots less than their opposition, and they won 15 faceoffs less. St. Louis needs to stay disciplined in defense but be more dangerous in the final third to increase its chances for a positive result.
Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron have led the Blues’ offense during the post-season, with nine points each. Justin Faulk is the team’s best assistant with five, while Jordan Kyrou has also produced five pts. Vladimir Tarasenko has contributed to St. Louis’s offense with six pts, while three other players have chipped in with four points apiece. On the other hand, Jordan Binnington has spent more time between the pipes, making four appearances in the playoffs. He has a .944 save percentage and allows 1.94 goals per contest.
Expected Line-Up: Jordan Binnington, Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, Ivan Barbashev, Pavel Buchnevich, Jordan Kyrou
Expert Pick #1 – Colorado Avalanche -1.5 @+105
The Avs have a slow start to this series, but I think they will be more clinical in front of the rival’s net this time. Although St. Louis is a tricky team, I expect the hosts to defend their home-ice advantage and celebrate by at least two goals in this one. Therefore, I’ll back them on the puck line market at the plus money odds.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 6.5 @-130
It should be a more efficient game than the first one, as I believe Colorado should be more productive. The hosts should drive this match over a 6.5 margin, and I see these two teams scoring seven or more goals. Give me the Over as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Avalanche Over 3.5 @-150
Consequently, Colorado should find the back of the net more than three times this time. They fired more than 50 shots in Game 1, and they should continue in the same fashion. It’s going to be my third pick for this matchup.