Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers: Stanley Cup Playoffs, Game 3 Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 6/4/2022

by Chuck Sommers

Western Conference Final, Game 3 – Avalanche lead 2-0

Time: 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB
Where to watch: TNT, SN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Avalanche -130, Oilers +110
BetMGM: Avalanche -125, Oilers +105
Caesars: Avalanche -130, Oilers +110

Al McMordie has reeled off a strong 20-8-0 run over the last month in the NHL. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are down to the Final Four. The last teams standing are high-octane, can score a lot of goals, and at least two of them have some great goaltending. Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun time to finish up. You need to be tuned in here to find out all the expert analysis. Catch Al’s plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Avalanche - Oilers preview and analysis


I love how this series is drunk two games in. We went from high-scoring, high-octane ridiculousness that featured an injured goalie, to a complete misunderstanding in the world of hockey where a backup goalie pitched a shutout and the brilliant offense only had 24 shots against said backup.

Nevertheless, the Colorado Avalanche are up 2-0 in the Western Conference Final and the Edmonton Oilers are one loss away from being completely in major trouble. The series shifts to Edmonton for Game 3 on Saturday where the lines are, of course, altered a bit and not as widening as it was in the first two games.

But the star of the night was Pavel Francouz, making 24 saves in the place of the injured Darcy Kuemper, and did more than enough to play his part on home ice.

"I think I found out [I was starting] yesterday for sure," Francouz said. "I was kind of thinking that I'm going to play, already after the other game. But they told me I'm going to start [Wednesday] afternoon. "You were a little nervous and you have it in the back of your mind. It's a really important game.

"But what helped me was the way our team played tonight since [the] first seconds. I knew [they'd] help me a lot. That made me more calm and I could just focus on my play."

The first period was important for Francouz and his confidence. The score was 0-0 after one with the Colorado defense stifling Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Cale Makar turns out to be the kryptonite for McDavid. Speed on speed. Who would've thought?

"They found a way to break through. We didn't," McDavid said. "They've got good players, they've got good [defensemen]. We haven't had a ton of chances off the rush. We've got to find a way to create off the forecheck and off [offensive zone] play. They do a lot of good things, and we've got to find a way to figure them out."

Mike Smith did all he could to keep things afloat after the horrendous performance in Game 1, making 36 saves, but giving up the three goals in the second period was the straw that broke the camel's back. All of them came within a span of 2:04.

Artturi Lehkonen scored first, then Josh Manson, and then Nazem Kadri to give him four points in the series to this point.

Mikko Rantanen finished it off with a goal in the third, giving him two points on the night.

"I'm playing with some great players; it's not all me," Kadri said. "'Lehky' did a great job finding me a couple times. Mikko, I don't really have to say anything about him. He's an incredible player.

"We all know playoff hockey; once it gets to four or two teams, that's going to be a difference maker for sure. Everyone contributes, and it's definitely tough to keep up with."

It was a great day for that line of Rantanen-Kadri-Lehkonen. Kadri finished with three assists while his linemates did have two points.

"That's the line that got us started and kept it going in the second period, the Kadri line," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "He's a big part of that. They were making plays in the second period. They [capitalized] on a couple of chances, and they're the ones who built this lead."

Prediction


I honestly thought this game was going to flip the other way. Francouz surprised me, but it'll be a completely different story in Edmonton. I'm at the edge of giving up on the Oilers because I want them to make this series competitive, and I'll go forward with Edmonton getting the win. They need a win, and that arena hasn't felt this kind of atmosphere in a while. If you ever needed to see the home crowd carry a team to win, Game 3 will be it. Oilers win 4-3

Betting trends


Avalanche are 29-10 after an under this season.

Avalanche are 59-20 off a home win the past three seasons.

Avalanche are 30-14 this season after a win by two goals or more.

Oilers are 4-5 in their last nine when trailing in a playoff series.

Oilers are 13-10 off a road loss this season.

Projected lines


Avalanche:

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Artturi Lehkonen

Valeri Nichushkin -- Nazem Kadri -- Mikko Rantanen

Andre Burakovsky -- J.T. Compher -- Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Logan O'Connor -- Darren Helm -- Andrew Cogliano

Devon Toews -- Cale Makar

Jack Johnson -- Josh Manson

Bowen Byram -- Erik Johnson

Pavel Francouz

Oilers:

Evander Kane -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Zach Hyman -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Warren Foegele -- Ryan McLeod -- Kailer Yamamoto

Josh Archibald -- Derek Ryan -- Zack Kassian

Darnell Nurse -- Cody Ceci

Duncan Keith -- Evan Bouchard

Brett Kulak -- Tyson Barrie

Mike Smith

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert hockey picks today. And if you enjoyed this Edmonton Oilers - Colorado Avalanche prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NHL projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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