NHL Playoffs Hockey

The Stanley Cup playoffs roll along with four fantastic matchups Monday. Boston resumes its first-round series with Toronto, while Nashville and Dallas throw down in Big D, and the Calgary-Colorado and Washington-Carolina series continue. Check out the odds, analysis, and free picks for Monday night’s NHL games.

(3) Boston Bruins +100 at (5) Toronto Maple Leafs -115 (7 p.m. ET)

The first couple games in this series were opposites of each other. In Game 1, Toronto dominated Boston 4-1. The Bruins bounced back in Game 2, putting a 4-1 beating onto the Maple Leafs.

It’s difficult to know what exactly happened in the Game 1 loss, but now that Boston is back on track, will they go up 2-1 Monday? Not likely. The Bruins are 2-7 straight up (SU) in their last nine at Toronto, 1-5 SU in their last six playoff games as an underdog, and the home team is 6-2 in the last eight meetings between these two. Toronto goes up a game.

NHL Free Pick: Maple Leafs -130

(2) Washington Capitals +110 at (7) Carolina Hurricanes -130 (7 p.m. ET)

Washington is up 2-0, but home ice means a lot in the NHL playoffs. So much so that Carolina is an underlay -130 to beat the Caps in Game 3.

The trends point to a Washington victory, though. The Capitals are 6-1 SU in their last seven matchups against a team with a winning record, 6-0 SU in their last six conference quarterfinal games and 5-0 SU in their last five meetings in Carolina. The Capitals should have no trouble handling the Hurricanes on the road, even though Carolina pushed them into overtime in Game 2.

NHL Free Pick: Capitals +115

(2) Nashville Predators +100 at (7) Dallas Stars -120 (9:30 p.m. ET)

Dallas evened up the series with a 2-1 victory in Game 2. One thing to note is how Dallas was 24-14-2-1 at home during the regular season.

The Stars forced Nashville to play their style in Game 2. Although the Predators are good enough to play Dallas’s style and still win, it’s hard to see that happening in Game 3, the first in Big D.

NHL Free Pick: Stars -125

(1) Calgary Flames -120 at (8) Colorado Avalanche +100 (10 p.m. ET)

Maybe the biggest surprise so far in the playoffs, other than Tampa Bay down to Columbus, is how Colorado evened it up against Calgary in Game 2.

Can the Flames pick it up in Game 3? A couple hot trends point to Colorado winning another game in the series. The Avalanche are an excellent 6-0 SU in their last six home games and 7-1 SU in their last eight games playing on a day of rest. Sometimes the scorching team continues burning up the ice.

NHL Free Pick: Avalanche +100