NHL Playoff First Round Series Picks

Updated 2105 Stanley Cup Odds - Second Round Mayhem

NHL Playoff First Round Series Picks

The puck drops on the NHL playoffs betting season on Wednesday, April 15th and with 16 teams each gunning for 16 wins to get an opportunity to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup in a few short weeks. Which hockey squad can you bet on to make it past their first round opponent? Keep reading for my 2015 NHL Playoff First Round Series picks.

Who Will Win Their 2015 NHL Playoff First Round Series?

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

EASTERN CONFERENCE ROUND ONE
GAME DATE LOCATION TIME NATIONAL TV
Game 1 Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Montreal 7 p.m. ET NHL Network
Game 2 Friday, April 17, 2015 Montreal 7 p.m. ET CNBC
Game 3 Sunday, April 19, 2015 Ottawa 7 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 4 Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Ottawa 7 p.m. ET USA
Game 5 (If necessary) Friday, April 24, 2015 Montreal TBD TBD
Game 6 (If necessary) Sunday, April 26, 2015 Ottawa TBD TBD
Game 7 (If necessary) Tuesday April 28, 2015 Montreal TBD TBD

Ottawa has finished the season on a roll going 6 and 1 straight up in their last 7 games. That should set them up well for their first round series against Montreal. But the Canadians are motivated this season. They finished the regular season going 3 and 0 in their last 3 games. Montreal is ranked first in goals against at 2.2 per match. They get the nod in this series.

New York Islanders vs. Washington Capitals

EASTERN CONFERENCE ROUND ONE
GAME DATE LOCATION TIME NATIONAL TV
Game 1 Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Washington 7 p.m. ET USA
Game 2 Friday, April 17, 2015 Washington 7 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 3 Sunday, April 19, 2015 New York 12 p.m. ET NBC
Game 4 Tuesday, April 21, 2015 New York 7:30 p.m. ET USA
Game 5 (If necessary) Thursday, April 23, 2015 Washington TBD TBD
Game 6 (If necessary) Saturday, April 25, 2015 New York TBD TBD
Game 7 (If necessary) Monday, April 27, 2015 Washington TBD TBD

Just getting into the Stanley Cup Playoffs seems like an accomplishment for the Islanders. NY will have its hands full dealing with Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. The Capitals had a somewhat disappointing regular season since expectations were high. If Washington can make a statement in the first game, they should easily win this series.

Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks

WESTERN CONFERENCE ROUND ONE
GAME DATE LOCATION TIME NATIONAL TV
Game 1 Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Nashville 8:30 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 2 Friday, April 17, 2015 Nashville 9:30 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 3 Sunday, April 19, 2015 Chicago 3 p.m. ET NBC
Game 4 Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Chicago 9:30 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 5 (If necessary) Thursday, April 23, 2015 Nashville TBD TBD
Game 6 (If necessary) Saturday, April 25, 2015 Chicago TBD TBD
Game 7 (If necessary) Monday, April 27, 2015 Nashville TBD TBD

The Blackhawks is the favorites from the Western Conference, along with Anaheim, to take home the Stanley Cup in 2015. Nashville won’t be intimidated. The Predators have a great home record. Getting up 2 and 0 versus Chicago is a must for Nashville, but if they can do that, they’ll upset dynasty-minded Chicago in the first round.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames

WESTERN CONFERENCE ROUND ONE
GAME DATE LOCATION TIME NATIONAL TV
Game 1 Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Vancouver 10 p.m. ET USA
Game 2 Friday, April 17, 2015 Vancouver 10 p.m. ET CNBC
Game 3 Sunday, April 17, 2015 Calgary 10 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 4 Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Calgary 10 p.m. ET USA
Game 5 (If necessary) Thursday, April 23, 2015 Vancouver TBD TBD
Game 6 (If necessary) Saturday, April 25, 2015 Calgary TBD TBD
Game 7 (If necessary) Monday, April 27, 2015 Vancouver TBD TBD

Defenseman Mark Giordano has started to skate, but he’s still not ready. That’s bad news for Calgary. This will be a tough series since neither team has the edge over the other. Vancouver averages 2.9 goals a match. Giordano’s presence would have definitely helped the Flames in keeping the Canucks from driving pucks into the net. Go with Vancouver.

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

EASTERN CONFERENCE ROUND ONE
GAME DATE LOCATION TIME NATIONAL TV
Game 1 Thursday, April 16, 2015 New York 7 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 2 Saturday, April 18, 2015 New York 8 p.m. ET NBC
Game 3 Monday, April 20, 2015 Pittsburgh 7 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 4 Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Pittsburgh 7 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 5 (If necessary) Friday, April 24, 2015 New York TBD TBD
Game 6 (If necessary) Sunday, April 26, 2015 Pittsburgh TBD TBD
Game 7 (If necessary) Tuesday, April 28, 2015 New York TBD TBD

The favorites to win it all, the NY Rangers, face Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh in the first round. The Rangers are a complete team while Pittsburgh is ranked nineteenth in goals per match, 2.6, while ranking fourth in shots per match at 31.6. There’s something wrong there. Back the favorites in this matchup.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings

EASTERN CONFERENCE ROUND ONE
GAME DATE LOCATION TIME NATIONAL TV
Game 1 Thursday, April 16, 2015 Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m. ET CNBC
Game 2 Saturday, April 18, 2015 Tampa Bay 3 p.m. ET NBC
Game 3 Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Detroit 7 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 4 Thursday, April 23, 2015 Detroit 7 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 5 (If necessary) Saturday, April 25, 2015 Tampa Bay TBD TBD
Game 6 (If necessary) Monday, April 27, 2015 Detroit TBD TBD
Game 7 (If necessary) Wednesday, April 29, 2015 Tampa Bay TBD TBD

Detroit ended the regular season going 3 and 2 straight up. They’re not playing their best hockey going into their first round matchup with Tampa Bay. The Lightning scores more goals in NHL than any other squad, 3.2, per match. Tampa Bay also allows only 27.9 shots per match against them. The Lightning will win this first round battle.

St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild

WESTERN CONFERENCE ROUND ONE
GAME DATE LOCATION TIME NATIONAL TV
Game 1 Thursday, April 16, 2015 St. Louis 9:30 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 2 Saturday, April 18, 2015 St. Louis 3 p.m. ET NBC
Game 3 Monday, April 20, 2015 Minnesota 8 p.m. ET CNBC
Game 4 Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Minnesota 9:30 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 5 (If necessary) Friday, April 24, 2015 St. Louis TBD TBD
Game 6 (If necessary) Sunday, April 26, 2015 Minnesota TBD TBD
Game 7 (If necessary) Wednesday, April 29, 2015 St. Louis TBD TBD

St. Louis is one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. St. Louis should be. The Blues is ranked in the Top 10 in both every important offensive and defensive categories save for shots per match. In that category, St. Louis is ranked eleventh, 30.9 shots per match. They should easily handle the Wild in this matchup.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Winnipeg Jets

WESTERN CONFERENCE ROUND ONE
GAME DATE LOCATION TIME NATIONAL TV
Game 1 Thursday, April 16, 2015 Anaheim 10:30 p.m. ET CNBC
Game 2 Saturday, April 18, 2015 Anaheim 10:30 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 3 Monday, April 20, 2015 Winnipeg 9 p.m. ET NBCSN
Game 4 Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Winnipeg 9:30 p.m. ET USA
Game 5 (If necessary) Friday, April 24, 2015 Anaheim TBD TBD
Game 6 (If necessary) Sunday, April 26, 2015 Winnipeg TBD TBD
Game 7 (If necessary) Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Anaheim TBD TBD

A lot is expected of Anaheim going into the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Ducks won the Pacific Division. They’re also relatively healthy, but Winnipeg isn’t a slouch. The Jets ended the season going 4 and 1 straight up. Expect this to be a tough series with the Ducks winning it in the end.