Avalanche vs. Oilers Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 3 Odds, Preview and Pick

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Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates with the puck against Cale Makar #8 of the Colorado Avalanche during the first period in Game Two of the Western Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

The NHL’s Western Conference Finals shift to Edmonton on Saturday night with the Oilers trailing the Colorado Avalanche 2-0. Which way to play Game 3 at BetOnline, one of BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks? 

Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers

Saturday, June 04, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Rogers Place

TNT has the American telecast of Game 3 of the NHL’s Western Conference Finals and while Avalanche-Oilers may not do well ratings-wise in the USA, it should draw bonkers ratings on Hockey Night in Canada via CBC Sports.

That entire country – even rival Flames fans – is backing the Oilers as no Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since 1993. 

Avalanche vs. Oilers Analysis

The Avalanche and Oilers split two regular-season games in Edmonton. Colorado won 2-1 in a shootout on April 9 as star Nathan MacKinnon had the shootout winner and the Avs’ lone regulation goal.

The game was scoreless entering the third. On April 22, Edmonton was a 6-3 winner behind an Evander Kane hat trick. 

With Colorado leading 2-0, it is -770 on the series line at BMR’s top-rated books with Edmonton +570. The favored exact result is Avalanche in five at +200, while a sweep is next at +240.  

Is the Avalanche Back To Francouz? 

Colorado is a sensational 5-0 on the road in these playoffs and won four of those by multiple goals. The only close one was 3-2 at St. Louis in the clinching Game 6 in the last round.  

Who will be in net for Colorado in Game 3? No. 1 Darcy Kuemper was knocked out of Game 1 in the second period with an upper-body injury – NHL teams never designate exactly what it is – and backup Pavel Francouz was rather shaky in relief.

Kuemper Analysis

Kuemper didn’t play in Game 2 on Thursday, and Francouz was spectacular in a 4-0 win. I personally would have given 15/1 betting odds that the Avalanche weren’t shutting out the high-powered Oilers.  

Francouz now is 4-0 in these playoffs with a 2.48 GAA and .917 save percentage.

He is the fourth goaltender in Avalanche/Nordiques franchise history to earn wins in each of his first four appearances during a single postseason.

My guess is he starts Saturday as when NHL players miss a postseason game, that means they are seriously hurt. 

MacKinnon Is the Favorite to Win the Conn Smythe

  • Arturri Lehkonen (fifth of these playoffs)
  • Josh Manson (second)
  • Mikko Rantanen (third)
  • Nathan MacKinnon (on power play; 10th) had the goals in Game 2
  • Nazem Kadri had three assists

All in the second period when Colorado scored three goals in a span of 2:04. Kadri’s three points in that 2:04 span were the 10th-fastest ever to get that many in a playoff game.  

MacKinnon Analysis

MacKinnon’s 10 playoff goals are a new career-high in a single postseason, and he’s the first Avalanche player with at least 10 since 2001.

He is the +200 favorite on the NHL futures odds to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.  MacKinnon’s 12 career playoff power-play goals – he has five this year -- are now fifth in franchise history. 

Colorado was 1-for-7 on the power play – it is converting 31.6 percent of the time in these playoffs – and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill, now at 73.3 percent there.

When leading a best-of-seven series 2-0 all-time, the Avalanche are 15-4 in it.  

Oilers Getting Off To Slow Starts 

Edmonton lost two of its first three home games in Round 1 against Los Angeles but has won its past three at Rogers Place, all by multiple goals. 

I really have no explanation for how flat the Oilers were in Game 2. Maybe they had an emotional letdown knowing that Colorado was starting its backup in net?

Oilers Season Recap

Edmonton also was shut out in Game 4 of the first round at the Kings, 4-0, but had scored at least two goals in every game since until Thursday.  

Even though the Oilers scored six goals in Game 1, for some reason Coach Jay Woodcroft put stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on separate lines to start Game 2.

Draisaitl played in with Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, while McDavid paired with Evander Kane and Zach Hyman. 

"We did some things to move the chess pieces around," Woodcroft said. "We didn't do enough to make it hard on the opposing goaltender; we had some chances but not nearly enough.” 

Points Streaks End 

Draisaitl’s streak of nine straight games with at least one assist and six straight with multiple points obviously ended. McDavid had at least one point in nine straight games as well.  

Colorado did dictate place of play and out-chanced the Oilers 25-8 off the rush, while also hitting McDavid on nearly every shift as he tried to get speed going.

One major issue thus far in the postseason facing the Oilers is a slow start. Thursday was the fifth time they've been down by two or more goals to start a game. 

Woodcroft chose to stay with Mike Smith in the net after he was pulled in Game 1 and it certainly wasn’t Smith’s fault for the Game 2 loss as he stopped 36 of 40 shots and played great other than that 2:04 span of three goals allowed. His defense simply failed him.  

Only seven of the last 98 teams to trail 2-0 in a conference final have ever come back and won the series.

Avalanche vs. Oilers: Who to Bet On?

I don’t think Edmonton will be the eighth, but that a raucous building – and having the last line change -- will lead to a Game 3 win. 

“We’ll be ready to put forth our best effort in a big bounce-back in front of a crazy building. We’re certainly not counting ourselves out of this one.

We’ve got a lot of hockey left to play,” defenseman Tyson Barrie said. 

Home teams generally get more “calls” and Edmonton had two power-play chances in Denver on Thursday compared to seven for the Avalanche.  

Edmonton is 4-1 on the NHL odds in its past five following a loss of three or more goals. The home team is 7-1 in the past eight meetings overall in this series. 

NHL Pick: Oilers (+115) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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