There was plenty of action in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals and it likely will be the same for Game 2.
Here are two player props to consider for Thursday’s matchup.
Leon Draisaitl Over 1.5 Points (+120)
There has been no slowing down the Edmonton Oilers’ top line of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Evander Kane. McDavid and Draisaitl are leading postseason scoring, averaging better than two points per game, while Kane has a four-goal cushion as the goals leader.
Still, the betting market is short-changing Draisaitl’s chances at another multi-point effort on Thursday night.
— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) June 1, 2022
The former Hart Trophy winner comes into tonight’s contest on a nine-game point streak, recording two or more points in seven of those matchups, including in six straight. The Oilers continue to deploy Draisaitl primarily in the offensive zone, with 65% of his zone starts coming in his opponent’s end.
The center has made the most of those opportunities, ranking second on the team in scoring and high-danger chances. What’s been more critical to his offensive success is his finishing ability. Draisaitl’s 17.6% on-ice shooting percentage leads the team, resulting in the second-most goals.
The Colorado Avalanche didn’t have an answer for Draisaitl and McDavid on Tuesday night, and it would be unwise to expect that to change in Game 2.
Valeri Nichushkin Any Time Goal Scorer (+190)
Colorado forward Valeri Nichushkin came out of the gates hot this postseason, recording three goals through the team’s first five playoff games. He’s cooled off since then, failing to find the back of the net since Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues.
Nevertheless, he’s a high-value candidate to find the back of the net against the Oilers in Game 2.
Nichushkin ended the regular season with 25 goals in 62 games, with a 13.9% shooting percentage. It’s been more of an uphill battle in the playoffs, with the Russian forward recording just three goals in 11 games and watching his shooting percentage dip to 7.9%.
However, fewer goals haven’t arisen from a lack of effort. Nichushkin remains a solid analytics player, posting 63.3% scoring chance and 55.7% high-danger ratings, contributing to his 63.0% expected goals-for percentage across all strengths.
Nichushkin spends time with the Avs’ best skaters and remains a staple on Colorado’s powerplay. Still, his output doesn’t match his production metrics, with Nichushkin one of several Avs players with a suboptimal PDO. All of which suggests that he’s a progression candidate and should have some puck luck over the coming games.