The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is beginning to wind down, with one team already advancing to the conference finals. Here is the latest on where each series currently stands, as well as some updated Stanley Cup odds.
Hurricanes sweep Islanders
The “Bunch of Jerks” are making the most out of their first trip to the playoffs in 10 years. Carolina finished off the Islanders 5-2 on Friday night, completing the sweep and becoming the first team to advance to the conference finals.
After Jordan Staal scored the overtime winner in Game 1, Carolina also took Game 2 to claim both games in New York. When the series shifted to Raleigh, the Hurricanes overcame the injury to goaltender Petr Mrazek and put up five goals in Games 3 and 4, winning both by a score of 5-2.
Carolina will now await the winner of the Bruins-Blue Jackets series. They wouldn’t mind if that series took a bit longer to finish in order to allow Mrazek, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Micheal Ferland to recover from injury.
Bruins, Blue Jackets knotted up
As Carolina now rests and waits, both the Bruins and Blue Jackets will be fighting to advance to the next round. What has been a tight, back-and-forth series has resulted in a 2-2 tie, with Game 5 Saturday night in Boston.
Charlie Coyle’s two goals, including his overtime winner, were the difference in Game 1 for Boston. A couple nights later, Matt Duchene scored in double overtime to even the series for the Blue Jackets. When the series shifted to Columbus, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky came up big as the Jackets won 2-1 to go up 2-1 in the series. But the Bruins wouldn’t stay down for long, as Patrice Bergeron‘s two goals in Game 4 were more than enough for them to even the series.
Whoever wins Game 5 will have a chance to end the series Monday night in Columbus. However, should there be a Game 7, the series will be decided Wednesday in Boston.
Sharks, Avalanche tied at 2
Over in the Western Conference, the Sharks and Avalanche have alternated in their first four games. As a result, a big Game 5 Saturday night will give a huge advantage to whoever comes out on top.
San Jose was dominant in Game 1, cruising to a 5-2 victory at home. Colorado responded in Game 2 with three unanswered goals to even the series. Logan Couture scored a hat trick in Game 3 on the road to give the Sharks a series lead, only for that lead to disappear after the Avs shutout San Jose 3-0 in the fourth game.
A pivotal Game 5 in San Jose is Saturday night, followed by a Game 6 in Colorado on Monday. Should there be a Game 7, it would be Wednesday in San Jose.
Stars take lead vs. Blues
The Stars, led by Ben Bishop, pulled off a Game 5 win on the road by a score of 2-1, taking a 3-2 series lead. Bishop stopped 38 of 39 shots, and Jason Spezza and Esa Lindell each scored to give Dallas the win and get them one game closer to a trip to the Western Conference Finals.
St. Louis started the series off with a win in Game 1, only to see Roope Hintz and the Stars take the second game in St. Louis. When the series moved to Dallas, Jaden Schwartz was one of four Blues to score as St. Louis stole Game 3 4-3. But Dallas responded in a big way in the next game, before being the first team to win two games in a row this series following Game 5.
Up by a game, the Stars have a chance to close out the series at home. Game 6 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, but should the Blues stave off elimination, Game 7 in St. Louis would be Tuesday night.
As of Saturday morning, here are the latest Stanley Cup odds:
Blue Jackets: 13/2