The NHL is set to return to the ice on Saturday with six games scheduled over the course of the weekend. The Stanley Cup Playoffs were shut down for two days, postponing four total matchups on Thursday and Friday. The NHLPA made the decision to not play as players wanted to make a statement in protesting racial injustice following the lead of many professional sports teams and leagues in North America.
Three games are scheduled for Saturday with three more on Sunday in the second round of the playoffs. Six of the eight remaining teams will play on Saturday with the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars set to pick up their series on Sunday.
Here’s a primer for the next game in each series. All odds are provided by a popular United States sportsbook.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins
The Tampa Bay Lightning won the last two games over the Boston Bruins to take a 2-1 lead heading into Saturday’s Game 4 matchup.
The Bruins are continuing on without their main goalkeeper Tuukka Rask, who left the bubble midway through Boston’s last series, but Boston is a slight favorite to even up the series.
- Tampa Bay Lightning +1.5 (-275)
- Boston Bruins -1.5 (+220)
- Over 5.5 (-117)
- Under 5.5 (-105)
- Tampa Bay Lightning -103
- Boston Bruins -115
Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders
The Philadelphia Flyers earned a much needed win in Game 2 on Wednesday with a 4-3 overtime victory to even up the series at a game apiece against the New York Islanders. New York is a slight favorite to get ahead in the series on Saturday.
- Philadelphia Flyers +1.5 (-295)
- New Jersey Islanders -1.5 (+240)
- Over 5 (-103)
- Under 5 (-109)
- Philadelphia Flyers -103
- New Jersey Islanders -114
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks
Of the eight teams remaining, the Vancouver Canucks are the last Canadian team still competing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The last Canadian team to win a Stanley Cup came in 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens, and the Canucks are looking to change that. After being shut out 5-0 in Game 1, Vancouver came back strong with a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday as they head into the third game of the series.
Oddsmakers believe it will take an unexpected upset for Vancouver to earn a victory on Saturday night. They also suggest this will be the highest scoring game of the next four NHL matchups.
- Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 (+128)
- Vancouver Canucks +1.5 (-152)
- Over 6 (-110)
- Under 6 (-109)
- Vegas Golden Knights -200
- Vancouver Canucks +168
Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars
The Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars have the day off on Saturday but will be back Saturday night for the fourth game of their series. Dallas took the first two games before the Avalanche won in a high-scoring matchup on Wednesday for a 6-4 victory to cut he series lead to 2-1.
Oddsmakers suggest Colorado will be able to ride its momentum in Game 4 to even the series.
- Colorado Avalanche -1.5 (+185)
- Dallas Stars +1.5 (-225)
- Over 5.5
- Under 5.5
- Colorado Avalanche -138
- Dallas Stars +118
Stanley Cup Playoffs Futures
After a few days off, here’s a reset of where things stand according to oddsmakers as of Aug. 29. The sportsbook is suggesting Tampa Bay is the favorite in the Eastern Conference, while the Golden Knights have the greatest chance to win the Western Conference. If Vegas can make it back, it would be the second time in the team’s three-year history as a franchise to be competing in the Stanley Cup Finals.
- Tampa Bay Lightning +135
- Philadelphia Flyers +300
- New York Islanders +375
- Boston Bruins +400
- Vegas Golden Knights +120
- Dallas Stars +265
- Colorado Avalanche +335
- Vancouver Canucks +700
Stanley Cup Finals odds
Vancouver have the best chance of winning it all according to oddsmakers, while there is a significant drop off after the top seven teams with the Canucks as longshots to end Canada’s Stanley Cup drought.
- Vegas Golden Knights +300
- Tampa Bay Lightning +340
- Colorado Avalanche/Philadelphia Flyers +700
- Dallas Stars +725
- Boston Bruins +800
- New York Islanders +950
- Vancouver Canucks +1700
The winners of the second round series will head to the Edmonton bubble where the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be completed.