Penguins, Capitals enter Round 2 as Stanley Cup co-favourites

Courtesy of PensTV Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby talks about facing Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin in the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will take on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Those teams sit as co-favourites on the odds to win the Stanley Cup, according to sportsbooks monitored by

Both Washington and Pittsburgh hold down +375 odds to win the Stanley Cup.

The Capitals got taken to six games by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, finally putting an end to that series with a 1-0 victory in Game 6 on Sunday. Nicklas Backstrom provided the goal for Washington in the clincher, while Braden Holtby made 26 saves for the shutout.

The Penguins, meanwhile, needed only five games to knock the New York Rangers out of the playoffs in their opening series, rolling to a 6-3 victory in Game 5 of the set on Saturday. That gives the Penguins one extra day of rest heading into the second round series, though Washington is still the slight -130 favourite on the series prices vs. Pittsburgh.

The other second round series in the Eastern Conference has the New York Islanders taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning, which gets underway at Amalie Arena on Wednesday night. The Islanders topped the Florida Panthers in six games in the first round, while the Lightning knocked out the Detroit Red Wings in five games — even with captain Steven Stamkos out of the lineup.

Tampa Bay sits at +1,000 on the updated Stanley Cup odds, while New York holds down a betting line of +1,400 on those futures. The Lightning are -143 favourites to win the series.

The St. Louis Blues outlasted the Chicago Blackhawks in their first round series, grabbing a 3-2 victory at home in Game 7 on Monday night to advance. That has the Blues set to face the Dallas Stars, who eliminated the Minnesota Wild in six. St. Louis sits at +475 on the Stanley Cup odds, while Dallas is just a step behind at +500.

Further west, the San Jose Sharks ran over the Los Angeles Kings in five games in the first round, and now hold down +625 odds to win the Stanley Cup. The Sharks will face either the Anaheim Ducks or the Nashville Predators in the second round of the playoffs, with those two teams set to meet in a deciding Game 7 at the Honda Center on Wednesday night.

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