NHL Playoffs 2018: TV Schedule, Live-Stream Info, Odds for Saturday’s Round 1
A trio of teams enter Saturday’s quartet of Stanley Cup Playoffs contests with opportunities to preserve home-ice advantage and take 2-0 series leads.
The Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins looked strong in their playoff openers, which doesn’t bode well for their opponents, who will be trying to creep back into their respective series before the sites change for Game 3.
The Anaheim Ducks enter Saturday in a hole, as they were one of the two home teams to fall in Game 1. The second seed in the Pacific Division section of the bracket must overcome a poor showing against the San Jose Sharks to avoid facing an even bigger deficit going into SAP Center.
Game 2: Colorado (+270; bet $100 to win $270) at Nashville (-385; bet $385 to win $100) (3 p.m., NBC/CNBC)
Game 2: New Jersey (+215) at Tampa Bay (-295) (3 p.m., NBC/CNBC)
Game 2: Toronto (+145) at Boston (-195) (8 p.m., NBC)
Game 2: San Jose (+112) at Anaheim (-148) (10:30 p.m., NBCSN)
All Times ET; odds via OddsShark.
Games can be live-streamed on NBC Sports Live.
San Jose Going for 2nd Straight Road Win
The San Jose Sharks came into the postseason as one of the five playoff teams in the Western Conference with at least 20 road victories.
The Sharks flexed that muscle in Game 1, as they defeated in-state rival Anaheim 3-0 to earn one of two wins by road teams in the first two days of postseason play.
In his first career playoff game, Evander Kane scored a pair of tallies in the second period. After celebrating his two-goal performance, Kane was quick to shift his focus to Game 2, per the Sharks’ Twitter account:
San Jose Sharks @SanJoseSharks
“It’s game one. Obviously, it was nice to finally get out in the playoff atmosphere. Nice to get my first win in the playoffs too. Now, to focus on game two.” -@evanderkane_9 https://t.co/08XqZzKf0p
San Jose held the advantage in most of the important stat categories, as it outshot the Ducks 34-25 and won 53 percent of the faceoffs.
Anaheim admitted it made too may mistakes in Game 1, as it had 14 penalty minutes, including four each from veterans Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler.
Left winger Andrew Cogliano admitted the loss was what the Ducks deserved for their sloppy play, per his team’s Twitter account:
Anaheim Ducks @AnaheimDucks
🗣: “It seemed like we were stuck in the regular season and trying to make plays in the neutral zone or turning the pucks over. We got handed what we deserved tonight.” – Andrew Cogliano https://t.co/WsF7WUkueY
Most of San Jose’s success is earned through strong play in net from Martin Jones and a well-rounded attack that receives a boost every time blueliner Brent Burns, who recorded nine shots on goal in Game 1, sets up camp at the point.
If the Sharks sustain the same pressure from Game 1, they will have plenty of opportunities to take a 2-0 series lead.
Anaheim must improve its discipline in order to get into a rhythm at full strength, which would allow more time for the top lines to be out on the ice together to create havoc in front of the San Jose net.
The Ducks need more production out of Ryan Getzlaf, who produced just one shot on goal in Game 1. If the 32-year-old gets going, the Ducks should feed off his energy and put in an improved showing.
Bruins Banking On Veteran Leaders
The Boston Bruins’ young core received plenty of praise for the success the team had in the regular season, but the postseason is a different animal, which is why veterans are so important.
In the 5-1 Game 1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brad Marchand, David Backes and David Krejci scored a goal each to earn Thursday’s largest margin of victory across the NHL.
Backes and Rick Nash have the most playoff experience on the Boston roster, a quality the team is already benefiting from.
Winslow Townson/Associated Press
Head coach Bruce Cassidy noted after Game 1 that the skill sets of his veterans, especially Backes’, are perfect for the postseason, per Eric Russo of the team’s official website:
“I think the game simplifies. More straight lines, there’s more get pucks behind, forecheck, physicality, get to the net, dirty goals. Right up his alley, all of those things. There’s less freewheeling, less open space.
“You’ve got to fight for your space, and again, he excels at the former, so that type of game,” Cassidy said. “I think it’s as simple as that. Big-bodied guys with good hands and will tend to have good resumes in the playoffs, and he certainly has that.”
In addition to the stable of skaters carrying playoff minutes on their resumes, goalie Tuukka Rask has 31 wins in 54 playoff appearances.
Rask saved 26 of Toronto’s 27 shots on goal in Game 1, with Zach Hyman’s first-period tally being the only attempt to beat the 31-year-old.
With a playoff goals-against average of 2.10 and save percentage of .929, Rask is one of the hardest goalies to beat at this time of year. The Bruins hope that rings true in Game 2, as they try to create separation from the Leafs.