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NHL Playoffs Update: Kings, Wild win in OT thrillers

The opening games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs were played on Monday and Tuesday, and with some fascinating storylines in place, we take a look at what happened.

Kings stun Oilers 

The Los Angeles Kings stunned the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of their Western Conference meeting at Rogers Place, scoring a game-tying goal with 17 seconds remaining before winning 4-3 in overtime. 

Anze Kopitar and Alex Iafallo were the Kings' heroes, who were able to keep the regular season's top point and goalscorer Connor McDavid off the scoresheet. 

Leon Draisaitl did manage to score twice, but it wasn't enough for Edmonton to overcome two from Andre Kempe and three assists from veteran Kopitar. 

Edmonton came into the playoffs on the back of nine straight wins and are -220 to win Game 2 and level the series. 

Bruins overcome illness outbreak 

The Boston Bruins overcame a sweeping illness bug to win their playoff opener 3-1 against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. 

Goalie Linus Ullmark overcame his sickness to make 31 saves, however, captain Patrice Bergeron wasn't so lucky and was forced to sit out. 

Tyler Bertuzzi had two assists in his playoff debut and 61 goal scorer David Pastrnak continued his fine regular season form by scoring the opener.

The Bruins are +275 favourites to be crowned Stanley Cup Champions after winning the Presidents' Trophy as the best team in the regular season with the most wins (65) and points (135) in NHL history. 

Wild win first game marathon 

The Minnesota Wild were forced to dig deep to go one up in their series against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Centre. 

Ryan Hartman's goal at 12:20 of the second overtime period gave the Wild a 3-2 road victory and makes them -125 to win the series.

With the best-of-seven series expected to be a battle of attrition throughout, it is -250 to go over 5.5 games and -230 to reach a Game 7. 

Related NHL News

NHL Eastern Conference Playoff preview: Boston the team to beat

NHL Western Conference Playoff preview: Avs aim to repeat

NHL Playoffs: Schedule, history & odds

Lightning strike first 

Tampa Bay Lightning scored four powerplay goals to earn a 7-3 Game 1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. 

The victory came at a cost for the Lightning who had to complete the game without top defence pair Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak who left injured. 

Tampa Bay have won more Stanley Cup playoff series' than anybody over the past three years and they looked far more comfortable in the opening game than the jittery Leafs who haven't won a playoff series since 2004. 

The Leafs are +115 to recover from the Game 1 disappointment to win the series while the Lightning are -135 to extend Toronto's post-season misery. 

Hurricanes use powerplay to beat Islanders 

The Carolina Hurricanes also used the powerplay, scoring twice, to edge past the New York Islanders 2-1 at PNC Arena in their Eastern Conference Game 1 match up. 

Sebastian Aho and Stefan Noesen converted, and Brent Burns and Martin Necas each had two assists for the Hurricanes, who many thought would struggle for offence after losing Andrei Svechnikov to injury during the run-in to the post-season. 

Carolina's powerplay ranked 20th in the regular season (19.8%) but with that showing signs of life, and netminder Antti Raanta again upping his level for the post-season, the Hurricanes are -425 to progress past the Islanders. 

Kraken earn first playoff victory 

The Seattle Kraken won their Stanley Cup playoff debut in the Western Conference, defeating the defending champions Colorado Avalanche 3-1. 

Eeli Tolvanen scored the first playoff goal in Kraken history and Philipp Grubauer made 34 saves against the team which Seattle selected him from in the 2021 expansion draft. 

The Avalanche host Game 2 of the series on Thursday and will unlikely be rattled after struggling early in the season only to finish it 31-8-4, the NHL's third best point percentage after January 12. 

The Kraken are +120 to cause the upset and knock out the Avalanche who are +850 to retain the Stanley Cup. 

Rangers dominate Devils 

Chris Kreider scored twice on the powerplay and All-Star defenceman Adam Fox had four assists as the New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 5-1 on their home ice in Game 1 of the Hudson River Rivalry series. 

The Devils were making the first appearance in the post-season for four seasons, and it showed against a Rangers side who made it to the Eastern Conference Final last season. 

New Jersey are +160 to learn from their Game 1 experience and turn the series around to win, while the Rangers are -180 to continue their dominance and progress. 

Jets soar in Vegas 

Blake Wheeler was the star of the show for Winnipeg Jets in Vegas as his goal and two assists helped the only winning Canadian side to a 5-1 rout of the Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.   

The Jets were able to take a huge sigh of relief after clinching a hard-fought Wild Card position from the Western Conference, and the pressure being off their shoulders showed against a Vegas side who expect post-season success after winning the Pacific Division. 

The Jets are -135 to now win the series while the Golden Knights are +115 to move on and have chance of meeting their +1300 odds of winning the Stanley Cup. 

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