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NHL playoffs Game 7 picks for Saturday: Three first-round series are down to the wire

NHL playoffs Game 7 picks for Saturday: Three first-round series are down to the wire

Will the Tampa Bay Lightning maintain their bid for a three-peat going or will the Toronto Maple Leafs win a playoff sequence for the primary time since 2004?

Will the Carolina Hurricanes advance with a house win or will the Boston Bruins grow to be the primary workforce this sequence to select up a street victory?

Does Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid have one other large sport in him to succeed in the second spherical for the second time in his profession or does Los Angeles Kings ahead Dustin Brown get the prospect to increase his profession?

These questions can be determined as three first-round sequence are going to Recreation 7 on Saturday.

USA TODAY Sports activities’ NHL specialists Jimmy Hascup, Mike Brehm and Jace Evans weigh in with their predictions:

Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes

4:30 p.m. ET Saturday, ET

Hascup: Bruins 3, Hurricanes 2. Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman should show that Recreation 6 win in a do-or-die state of affairs was no fluke, but additionally necessary is secondary scoring when the Hurricanes can line match towards them. Recreation 6 was a very good signal as Erik Haula and Curtis Lazar every scored their first of the playoffs, whereas Charlie Coyle obtained his second. 

Brehm: Hurricanes 4, Bruins 2. I mentioned in my sequence prediction that the Hurricanes would win in seven as a result of coach Rod Brind’Amour would have house ice within the deciding sport. The sequence has performed out that means, so I am going to follow Carolina.

Evans: Hurricanes 5, Bruins 3. House ice has made all of the distinction this sequence and Carolina has it for Recreation 7. 

Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs

7 p.m. ET Saturday, TNT

Hascup: Lightning 4, Maple Leafs 2. The Lightning have an excessive amount of playoff expertise, so the strain of a Recreation 7 on the street gained’t be an excessive amount of … and till the two-time defending champions get knocked off, it’s laborious to select towards them. The Maple Leafs, however … effectively, they haven’t gotten previous the primary spherical for the reason that 2003-04 playoffs, and regardless that they’ve reached the postseason in six consecutive seasons, they’ve misplaced three Recreation 7s in that span.

Brehm: Lightning 5, Maple Leafs 3. The Maple Leafs have misplaced eight consecutive potential clinching video games since 2018. It is going to be 9. The Lightning dug deep to win Recreation 6 and so they have the championship pedigree to do it once more in Toronto. 

Evans: Lightning 3, Maple Leafs 1. No group can be underneath extra strain to win Saturday evening than the Maple Leafs. They’ve largely been the higher workforce this sequence, however I have been burned by this group too many instances to imagine this winner-take-all sport can be totally different.  

Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers 

10 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN

Hascup: Kings 4, Oilers 3. I understand it isn’t prudent to select towards the workforce that has Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and that the Oilers have outplayed Los Angeles within the sequence on an entire. However I picked the Kings in seven and I’m sticking with it … plus, the Oilers are attempting to win a Stanley Cup with Mike Smith in internet.

Brehm: Oilers 4, Kings 3. I even have questions on Mike Smith in internet, however Connor McDavid can elevate his sport as soon as extra and get previous the Kings.

Evans: Oilers 4, Kings 2. L.A. has put up a valiant combat however Edmonton has, for my cash, the perfect participant on this planet. Connor McDavid was a beast in Recreation 6 and I feel he rises to the event once more to pull his flawed workforce into the second spherical. 

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