Check out the Betway Insider's NHL picks and predictions page for best bets throughout the 2020-21 NHL season.

If you had placed a $10 single on every one of Chris's picks this season, you'd be $748.10 in profit.

Pittsburgh Penguins to beat New York Islanders 

The Penguins did a lot right in the first game against the Islanders, but it still didn’t matter as New York came out with a 1-0 series lead.

Pittsburgh led in most other categories at even strength with a slight edge in shot attempts and shots on goal, but a much bigger gap between themselves and the Isles in total scoring chances, high-danger scoring chances and expected goals.

Tristan Jarry did not have his best night in the 4-3 OT loss, with the goal he allowed to J-G Pageau from distance looking particularly rough. There are at least questions now about whether or not Mike Sullivan should give an early look to backup Casey DeSmith, who had a .912 save percentage in 20 appearances this year. DeSmith, however, has never appeared in a Stanley Cup Playoffs game. Sullivan also runs the risk of shattering his starter’s confidence in the event he needs to go back to him.

The Penguins know they have to find a way to win Game 2 so as to not to head to Long Island in a 2-0 hole. With how good the Islanders have been on home ice this year, it might not be coming back if they can’t get a quick W on home ice Tuesday night. They’ve been really tough to beat twice in a row all year and Evgeni Malkin at least seems like he’s inching back towards a return. It’s unclear if he will go in Game 2.

Meanwhile, it is uncertain if the Islanders will have No. 1 goalie Semyon Varlamov back for Game 2 or not. Even so, Ilya Sorokin is more than capable of holding down the fort. But can the rookie take two from the Penguins in Pittsburgh? I’m not so sure.

Tampa Bay Lightning to beat Florida Panthers 

In the most entertaining game of the playoffs so far - and that has been a high bar in the early goings of this postseason - the Tampa Bay Lightning stormed back with some late goals to snatch a victory from the Panthers. It was a tight game and Tampa needed its best punch to knockout its in-state rival.

As good as Sergei Bobrovsky was for stretches of the game for Florida, would Joel Quenneville consider looking at Chris Driedger, who had put up better numbers over the course of the season this year? It would be a bold move to go away from a starter who has experience beating the Lightning in the postseason as Bobrovsky did while playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets two years ago. Still, this is something worth watching as the teams come out of their morning skates on Tuesday.

There are a couple of other things Florida has to worry about in this one. Sam Bennett is suspended, taking away one of the team’s most aggressive forwards, and one who played nearly 21 minutes in Game 1, finishing with two assists. Secondly, if Florida takes too many penalties in this game, they’re going to get run out of the building.

The Tampa Bay power play scored three times and they even had a shorthanded goal. The good news for the Panthers is that they outscored the Bolts at even strength. So, they have to find a way to keep it there. That may be easier said than done against a team with Tampa’s speed.

I think Florida is going to give this is a real go, but I also think Tampa has a little too much. I don’t foresee a sweep in this series, but I do like the Bolts to take Game 2 here.

Vegas Golden Knights to beat Minnesota Wild 

One goal was all that could be found between the two teams in Game 1 and it came off the stick of Joel Eriksson Ek in overtime, giving the Wild a stunning 1-0 series lead against the Golden Knights.

It has been such a fun year between these two teams. Minnesota has now won six of the nine meetings between the two sides over the regular season and the playoffs. It’s a pretty stunning statistic considering how favored Vegas is this postseason. Losing Game 1 on home ice, though, definitely dented the Golden Knights’ armor.

Marc-Andre Fleury was amazing in the game, but so was Cam Talbot as both goaltenders stood on their heads to make save after save. Vegas, meanwhile, controlled the possession and had the advantage in shots on goal, but scoring chances were pretty much even in the game.

Vegas has to find a way to make Cam Talbot work a little harder than he had to in Game 1, even though they did pour 42 shots on goal. Finding a way to create more scoring chances five-on-five and getting more out of their big stars will be key.

As well Minnesota played in Game 1, look for Vegas to find that extra gear with the desperation of not wanting to head to Minnesota in that 2-0 hole.

BOOSTED TREBLE: Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Vegas all to win 


Visit Betway's NHL betting page.