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Stanley Cup Playoff Storylines: May 10, 2022

All four matchups tonight are completely wide-open with ties across the board. One theme? You need to stay out of the penalty box. Get yourself ready for Tuesday's Stanley Cup playoff action.
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All four matchups tonight are completely wide-open with ties across the board. One theme? You need to stay out of the penalty box. 

Get yourself ready for Tuesday's Stanley Cup playoff action with these four burning topics:

Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Whose series is it now?

So far, the home team has a 100 percent win rate at home in the post-season in this series. So, get your bets in for the Hurricanes, people!

Or, maybe not? 

The Bruins definitely have the momentum right now and everything is starting to click. Boston has had the better goaltending as of late and the top names are showing up each and every night in a big way. 

The momentum has swung, but the Hurricanes have a 31-8-4 record at home this season between the regular season and playoffs. That includes four consecutive wins over Boston and four in a row, period. 

It's a truly open series where anything can happen. And that's what makes playoff hockey so much fun.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The winner will be the one that stays out of the box the best

The Tampa Bay Lightning have had a playoff-leading 23 power plays, converting on just five of them. That's partly good news for Toronto, who knows it could definitely be worse. 

But as the game pace continues to suffer from nonstop penalties, it's clear that both teams need to figure out how to stay out of the box. At 5-on-5, the Leafs hold a 8-7 advantage in goals, so the games have been particularly close when everything is equal. 

Plus, with no lead changes at any point through four games, scoring first has been so vital. So has scoring early, too. The game could be decided quite early, so look for both teams to have explosive starts at Scotiabank Arena.

St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild

This can go just about anywhere

With the series tied 2-2, the series has been full of one-sided scores. But, given both teams have taken advantage of it, it's tough to really pinpoint a true favorite right now.

At 5-on-5, the Wild have a 9-6 goal advantage, but there have been some meaningless goals in an already one-sided affair at points this series. So, in a way, we can consider the rest of the series a clean slate, but one where you can't afford to make many mistakes.

For the Wild, they need to take advantage of St. Louis' battered blueline. For the Blues, it's getting similar goaltending that they got out of Jordan Binnington in Game 4 and outdueling Marc-Andre Fleury. 

The mission is simple: get a multi-goal lead and, as history has shown, you'll likely be safe. But that's much easier said than done.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

Goaltending will play a huge factor

Only one of the four games played so far has managed to be remotely close. And that's why predicting who has the advantage heading into the Best-of-3 is a bit of a nightmare, and why it's so much fun, too.

The Kings looked dominant in a 4-0 win on Sunday, but they're heading back to Edmonton where the Oilers showed some muscle in Game 2. The Kings have gotten some hit-or-miss goaltending from Jonathan Quick, who needs to be much better than Mike Smith on a nightly basis to try and offset Edmonton's scoring stars. The issue? Smith has looked great, even in losses, with a .942 save percentage and a shutout to boot.

But, if we've learned anything, it's that Smith can be ultra-shaky, so the Kings need to fire often and early to get him moving quickly. The series has been full of one-sided contests dominated by the team that moves the best early.

Los Angeles, let the kids run free and see what happens.

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