NHL Playoffs 2016 Odds: Lightning, Stars Among Notable First-Round Favorites

The Detroit Red Wings will look to avenge last year’s first-round playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning when they take on the Bolts as +130 underdogs on the NHL series prices at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com starting this week.

Detroit begins its 25th consecutive playoff appearance in Wednesday night’s Red Wings vs. Lightning betting matchup at Amalie Arena after backing into the postseason on the strength of a mediocre stretch run, leaving it as a 33-1 long shot to claim its first Stanley Cup since 2008.

The Red Wings blew a 3-2 series lead in their first-round matchup with the Lightning a year ago, and they are winless in two visits to Tampa Bay this season. However, a rash of injuries leaves the Lightning without Steven Stamkos and Anton Stralman indefinitely, while Tyler Johnson and Ryan Callahan both finished the regular season in sick bay.

That has taken its toll on Tampa Bay’s Stanley Cup odds, which plummeted from 12-1 in early February to 20-1 at the sportsbooks.

In Western Conference playoff action, the top-seeded Dallas Stars open the postseason in search of their first series victory since 2008, taking on the Minnesota Wild as heavy -215 chalk on the series prices.

After opening the campaign at a distant 33-1 on the Stanley Cup odds, the Stars quickly joined the favorites, and they prepare to face the Wild sporting respectable 8-1 odds following an impressive 50-win season, including victories in four of five meetings with Minnesota.

The Wild opened as a 16-1 Stanley Cup bet but have run hot and cold all season.

Minnesota endured a brutal 1-13 stretch midseason before rebounding with 15 wins in 22 games to claim the Western Conference’s second wild-card berth. However, the Wild ended the campaign with five consecutive losses and now are tagged with long 28-1 Stanley Cup odds.

In other NHL playoff action at the sportsbooks, the St. Louis Blues open their set against the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday as slim -115 NHL series betting favorites, while the red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins are -155 chalk to get past the New York Rangers, who eliminated them from the postseason in each of the past two years.

The Stanley Cup favorite Washington Capitals are heavy -290 favorites in their series with the Philadelphia Flyers, while the Florida Panthers are -155 favorites against the New York Islanders, the Los Angeles Kings would pay as -150 chalk against the San Jose Sharks, and the Anaheim Ducks take on the Nashville Predators as -170 series favorites.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

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