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NHL Playoff Update: Hurricanes storm past Devils

The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers are on the verge of reaching the conference finals, while both series out west may go the distance.

Two of the four conference semifinal series remaining in the NHL Playoffs are now through four games, with both Eastern Conference bouts looking close to completion, while the Western Conference looks as tightly-contested as ever.

Recap all the latest action ahead of Wednesday night's games.

Leafs look to avoid a sweep

After losing each of the first two games of their series against the Florida Panthers on home ice, it didn’t seem like things could get much worse for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

However, they’re now not only on the brink of elimination, but on the brink of being swept.

Many fans are feeling like it would be true Leafs' style to go out this way after having not won a playoff series since 2004 until this year’s first round. They simply aren’t matching the physicality of the Panthers.

Toronto’s roster is incredibly talented, but they’re getting hit anytime they touch the puck, and they aren’t doing the same to Matthew Tkachuk and the Panthers.

Game 4 will be in Florida, so they’ll need to address that, and quickly, to stay alive.

At +390 the Panthers lie behind only the +275 Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup outright market.

Carolina cruises through New Jersey

For a series that features two of the top defensive teams throughout the regular season, we’ve seen quite a lot of goals. Just as surprisingly, all four games of this series have been blowouts.

The Hurricanes took each of the first two games by final scores of 6-1 and 5-1.

However, the Devils were no stranger to that, as they had an almost identical experience in the first round against the New York Rangers.

When the series shifted to New Jersey for Game 3, they responded in a big way with an 8-4 win.

Despite still being at home for Game 4, they were outmatched yet again and the Hurricanes stormed home with another 6-1 win to take a 3-1 series lead.

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Stars show up in Game 4

The Dallas Stars and Seattle Kraken series has been as back-and-forth as it gets.

Although the Stars were the clear picks heading into it, the Kraken have proven that their elimination of the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Colorado Avalanche, in the first round was no fluke.

They’ve been getting contributions from a wide range of skaters, but it was the stars on Dallas that showed up in Game 4.

They put up six goals on the Kraken to ultimately win by a final of 6-3, which also makes Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger 4-0 this postseason following a loss.

After tying up the series at 2-2, Dallas is now -210 to win the series against +175 Seattle.

Golden Knights get their revenge

The only series in the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs that is just three games in is between the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights.

There’s been strangely long breaks between games and each matchup has been a multi-goal victory.

After Vegas won a back-and-forth shootout 6-4 in Game 1, the Oilers answered with a convincing 5-1 victory. However, when the series shifted up to Edmonton for Game 3, the Golden Knights got their revenge with a 5-1 victory of their own.

Game 4 remains up in Canada, so it will be on Connor McDavid and the Oilers to answer back again to tie the series 2-2.

The Golden Knights and Oilers are still the top two fancies to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final, at +175 and +220 respectively.

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