NHL playoff picks: 'Dogs are biting in the East
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A clean 2-0 sweep on Thursday improves us to 4-2 in Round 1, and we're steaming ahead into a busy weekend.

Here are another couple of winners for Friday, both at plus-money to boot.

Montreal Canadiens (+135) @ Philadelphia Flyers (-155)

Game 1 of this series was an absolute treat. It started slow, but things kicked into high gear midway through the first period and didn't sputter. Carter Hart and Carey Price impressed, and each team's offense showcased its strengths. A lot of bad puck luck and very strong goaltending combined to keep the game so low scoring, with the Flyers winning 2-1.

Artturi Lehkonen whiffed on about four quality scoring chances, while Brendan Gallagher and Paul Byron were also snakebitten in front of the net. Nick Suzuki hit the post, as did Claude Giroux. Price made a miracle save on Scott Laughton, and Nate Thompson missed an open net. Game 1 was a wildly entertaining affair with a rather deceiving low score. It just as easily could have ended 5-4.

Despite taking the loss, the Canadiens produced the most offense in Game 1, posting a 2.56 expected goals for mark at even strength while creating 15 high-danger chances. Montreal controlled a 57.81% share of the expected goals at five-on-five in Game 1, and that's not an outlier. The Habs were the league's second-best team in expected goals percentage at five-on-five during the regular season, while the Flyers finished 12th.

Montreal can control the balance of play if the Habs stay out of the box. As the playoffs intensify, refs tend to let things go a bit more, which will benefit the Canadiens. At this price, there's great value in them to even the series in what should be an exciting Game 2.

Pick: Canadiens (+135), Over 5 (-130)

New York Islanders (+110) @ Washington Capitals (-130)

The Islanders completely stifled the Capitals in Game 1. Washington was expected to score just 0.87 goals at five-on-five, compared to 1.68 for the Islanders, who owned a remarkable 69.93% share of the expected goals at even strength.

The Capitals struggled significantly in that regard during round-robin play, too, managing just 3.74 expected goals for at five-on-five while allowing 4.88. Both of their Game 1 goals came on the power play, and they were otherwise thoroughly outplayed.

And now they will be without one of their best offensive players in Nicklas Backstrom, who left Game 1 and didn't return following a hit from Anders Lee. If the Islanders can avoid penalties, it's hard to see a different outcome in Game 2.

Pick: Islanders (+110)

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

NHL playoff picks: 'Dogs are biting in the East
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