Oilers vs. Stars expert picks, odds: Edmonton looks to advance to Cup Final for first time since 2006


Pretty much the only thing Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid has yet to accomplish in the NHL is lifting the Stanley Cup. All of the individual awards, the individual dominance and the video game-like stats have always been there. But team success in the postseason has mostly slipped away from the Oilers during his time, mainly due to severe flaws elsewhere on the roster: depth scoring, defense, goaltending.

In some ways, a lot of those questions and flaws still exist with this Oilers team. But they are not as damaging as they have been in years past, and now the Oilers are just one win away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since the 2005-06 season.

They have a chance to punch that ticket on Sunday night at home.

The Oilers are coming off what might have been one of their best overall performances of the playoffs in their pivotal Game 5 win in Dallas, where pretty much everything clicked for them. The power play finally had a chance to break through with two goals, they played one of their strongest defensive games of the playoffs in completely shutting down a powerful Dallas Stars lineup, while even much-maligned goalie Stuart Skinner played one of his best games of the playoffs.

It is also a reminder of just how volatile the Oilers’ performance can be on a game-to-game basis. When they put it all together like they did on Friday night they look like the best team in hockey and like a championship is inevitable. But they do not always play two of those games in a row. If they can piece another one together on Sunday, they will continue the process of silencing all of the doubters that have followed them around for the past few years.

Odds are from BetMGM and update live. Buy tickets to see your favorite team on StubHub.

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Dallas Stars at Edmonton Oilers  — Game 6

How to watch: 8 p.m. ET on TNT, SN

Oilers lead series 3-2

Series odds: Oilers -350, Stars +280

• After averaging more than a point per game (82 points in 81 games) during the regular season, Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard has raised his game even more in the playoffs. He enters Game 6 with 25 points in 17 playoff games. That is already tied for the sixth-most for any defenseman in any single postseason. Depending on how many more games the Oilers play, 30 points seems within striking distance. Paul Coffey (37), Brian Leetch (34) and Al MacInnis (31) are the only defensemen to ever top 30 points in a single postseason.

• After being shut out (and mostly kept off the ice) in the first four games of the series, the Oilers’ power play finally broke through with two goals on Friday. That unit is converting on 34.7 percent of its power plays in the playoffs. Among teams that have played at least 15 games in a single postseason, that is the second-highest total ever behind only the 1980-81 New York Islanders (37.8 percent).

• The Oilers made a defensive switch in Game 5 by adding Philip Broberg into the lineup, and he made an immediate contribution by scoring the team’s third goal to help add some insurance. He scored zero goals in 12 regular season games and has just two goals in 81 career regular season games. Sometimes you need a contribution from a player you do not expect in the playoffs.

• The Oilers do not need Stuart Skinner to be the reason they win games. They just need him to not be the reason they lose games. Despite some poor overall numbers in the playoffs, he is starting to give them what they need in net. He has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his past seven starts.

Expert picks for Oilers at Stars

 


Picks standings

(Photo of Connor McDavid and Jake Oettinger: Richard Rodriguez / Getty Images)



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