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NHL Playoff Power Rankings: Avalanche Lead the Way into Round 2

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Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche is congratulated by players on the bench after scoring a first period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at Ball Arena on April 16, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Dustin Bradford/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Dustin Bradford / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs wrapped up Sunday night in dramatic fashion when two Game 7’s went to overtime – allowing the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames to become the final two teams to punch their ticket to round two. 

Overall, it was a highly-competitive first round, with five series needing seven games to determine the victor. 

We hope the second round matches the competitiveness and intensity of round one when it kicks off Tuesday evening and we’ll break down the remaining teams below. 

Check out the latest comprehensive and most trusted Sportsbook Reviews by SBR here

Here are my NHL Power Rankings with odds from DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars.

*Series pricing via DraftKings Sportsbook*

1.) Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche made quick work of the Nashville Predators in round one, sweeping the series 4-0. The Avs dominated possession and held a 66.67 goals for percentage (GF%). 

In four games, defenseman Cale Makar led the way with 10-points, and star center Nathan MacKinnon chipped in with 5-goals. 

Next, they'll take on the St. Louis Blues and look to continue their power play prowess that saw them execute 43.8% in the first round. 

Second Round: (-380) vs. St. Louis Blues

2.) Florida Panthers

In game four, the Panthers were a missed empty net away from going down 3-1 against the Washington Capitals. However, they would tie the game late and win in overtime. 

The rest is history, as the Panthers would win in six games and advance to the second round.

To no one's surprise, the Panthers led the way offensively, ranking first amongst playoff teams with 3.8 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60).

Winger Carter Verhaeghe led the team in scoring with 12-points and will look to keep his offensive momentum going in round two against the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Second Round: (-150) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

3.) Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes dispatched the Boston Bruins in Game 7 Saturday afternoon - a moral victory after the Bruins had eliminated the 'Canes in two of the previous three postseasons. 

Home ice proved to be the X-factor in the series, as neither team would win on the road. 

The Hurricanes advanced despite lesser possession and expected goals for (xGF) numbers than the Bruins, but their defensive game and prowess on home ice allowed them to overcome those deterrents. 

They'll now take on the New York Rangers and goaltender Igor Shesterkin in their quest to advance to the Eastern Conference final. 

Second Round: (-190) vs. New York Rangers

RELATED: NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Winners and Losers

4.) Calgary Flames

The Flames needed all seven games and overtime to advance past the pesky Dallas Stars Sunday night - eventually winning 3-2 when winger Johnny Gaudreau snuck one past goaltender Jake Oettinger. 

The Stars' methodical defensive structure slowed down the Flames' offense, but they dominated corsi and held an 18.67 to 12.43 advantage in xGF. 

The power play was putrid, executing at a mere 8.3% clip, but we should anticipate that number to improve considering the offensive firepower this team possesses. 

They'll take on the Edmonton Oilers in round two - The Battle of Alberta - it what should be wildly intense and entertaining. 

Second Round: (-190) vs. Edmonton Oilers

5.) Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers, well, Connor McDavid, dispatched the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 Saturday night after trailing 3-2 in the series at one point. 

McDavid completely dominated, scoring 4-goals and registering 14-points in the seven-game set.

The analytics with McDavid on the ice are insane, giving the Oilers a chance against any team. 

Surprisingly, goaltender Mike Smith was solid in the series with two shutouts and 6.5 goals saved above average (GSAA). 

Between Smith's hot play and McDavid being a cheat code, they'll be able to compete against a deeper Flames team. 

Second Round: (+160) vs. Calgary Flames

6.) Tampa Bay Lightning 

Tampa Bay was able to squeeze by the Toronto Maple Leafs in round one despite inconsistent play. 

At times, the team was listless, but a veteran core and solid game seven-play from goaltender Andre Vasilevskiy allowed them to advance. 

However, don't let their previous success of the past two seasons fool you, as the Leafs outdueled them in various critical analytical categories. Not to mention the collective subpar play of Vasilevskiy - who registered a .897 save percentage and -3.5 GSAA in the series. 

Star center Brayden Point has already been ruled out for game one, which won't help a team looking worn down at times. 

Second Round: (+130) vs. Florida Panthers

RELATED: Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Igor Shesterkin Named Hart Trophy Finalists

7.) St. Louis Blues

The Blues made relatively quick work of the Minnesota Wild in round one, winning the series 4-2. 

Their deep offensive unit and power play that executed at a 30.8% clip helped them overcome injuries to the defense and shaky goaltending. 

Facing the vaunted Colorado Avalanche will be an arduous task, but the offense should allow them to hang around. 

If the ghost of Jordan Binnington can regain his form from 2019, an upset isn't out of the question, though unlikely. 

Second Round: (+290) vs. Colorado Avalanche

8.) New York Rangers

If not for the injury to Sidney Crosby and a stellar performance from Igor Sheshterkin in game seven, the Rangers would be on the golf course as they had little business winning their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

To their credit, they battled back from a 3-1 series deficit to advance but were severely outgained 25.05 to 15.15 in xGF and lost the possession battle. 

They have an upper-echelon power play but otherwise are relatively uninspiring 5v5. 

Despite elite goaltending, their next opponent should have little trouble disposing of them in round two. 

Second Round: (+160) vs. Carolina Hurricanes

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