Best NHL Playoff Prop Bets for Avalanche vs. Stars Game 5: Nathan MacKinnon Must Be The Difference Maker

it will be an early vacation for the Colorado Avalanche if Nathan MacKinnon doesn't find a way to lead his team to victory in Game 5
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon and Stars forward Wyatt Johnston
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon and Stars forward Wyatt Johnston / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The Dallas Stars can be the first Western Conference team to advance to the Conference Finals in Game 5 of their series against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Colorado Avalanche had everything go wrong for them in Game 4. Valeri Nicushkin entered the Player's Assistance Program and was handed a six-month suspension before the game. Then, Devon Toews was ruled out with an illness. They looked like a defeated team right from the beginning, which led to a 5-1 loss. The Avalanche must find a way to win the next three games to avoid elimination.

Here's how I would attack Avalanche vs. Stars Game 5 from a player prop perspective.

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

NHL Playoffs Prop Bets for Avalanche vs. Stars Game 5

  • Nathan MacKinnon OVER 4.5 Shots on Goal
  • Wyatt Johnston UNDER 2.5 Shots on Goal
  • Joe Pavelski OVER 1.5 Shots on Goal

Nathan MacKinnon OVER 4.5 Shots on Goal

There's no good reason for MacKinnon's line to be set at 4.5 in this game. He has 5+ shots in just two of nine games in this year's playoffs and has hit four shots just once in three games this series. We know that Mackinnon is an intense player who will reach another level in a must-win game, and you can expect him to be Colorado's best player in this game.

I think the oddsmakers are begging you to take this under, as they know that MacKinnon will be firing shots towards Jake Oettinger all night. The Stars have been good at suppressing shots, so it could be a scenario where MacKinnon has ten shot attempts but not enough to hit the net, but I'm willing to take that chance.

Wyatt Johnston UNDER 2.5 Shots on Goal

Wyatt Johnston had a quiet Game 2 and 3 of this series, tallying zero points and just two shots, The Stars managed to win both games despite this, but they needed him to show up again in Game 4 to extend the series to 3-1. Johnston bounced back, with two goals and an assist. He also chipped in eight shots.

Johnston has arguably been the Stars' best player in the playoffs. It's easy to sustain success in the playoffs, but when a player puts the team on their back like Johnston did in Game 4, it's often a quieter night in the following game. The Stars could finish the series on Wednesday night, but I think it will be other players who contribute.

Johnston went under this shot total in the series' first three games. Don't let the outlier of Game 4 when the Avalanche may have had some distractions stop you from remembering their success of shutting him down early in the series.

Joe Pavelski OVER 1.5 Shots on Goal

It won't take much for Joe Pavelski to hit this prop if he steps up like I expect him to in Game 5. In the Johnston section, I mentioned that someone else on the Stars may need to step up in this game, and I expect that person to be Pavelski.

Pavelski is likely the player that the Stars are rallying around in this playoff run, as time is winding down in his career and he's looking for that elusive Stanley Cup ring. Pavelski realizes that there aren't many more opportunities left for him, and they have to be excited about a matchup with either the Oilers or Canucks in the next round.

His stat line from this playoff run isn't anything to brag about, as he has just one assist and 14 shots in 11 games. There aren't many of these I will do, but this is a play based on feel more than anything based on stats. Pavelski has always been a clutch player in his career despite a lack of a Stanley Cup Championship.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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