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Barkov, Verhaeghe to stay hot in Game 3 vs. Bruins

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Another day, another pair of playoff games.

Let's take a look at a few plays that stand out from the rest of the board.

Aleksander Barkov: Over 0.5 assists

Barkov's playmaking has hit another level of late. He has 10 assists over his last 10 games, including three through two games against the Bruins.

Boston's long been an excellent defensive team with elite-level goaltending, but that hasn't stopped Barkov from torching it. He has at least one assist in seven of the last eight versus the Bruins, and 11 of 14 when zooming out further. He's on an incredible run.

I expect the good times to continue in Game 3. The Panthers have caved the Bruins in with Barkov on the ice at five-on-five in this series. They've won the shot-attempt battle 36-20 and controlled better than 72% of the expected goals.

Barkov is playing with a pair of excellent finishers in Carter Verhaeghe and Matthew Tkachuk at full strength. He also skates on the top power play, where he's clearly happy to defer to other shooters. Nobody on the top unit has attempted fewer power-play shots than Barkov in this series.

Odds: +110 (playable to -125)

Carter Verhaeghe: Over 3.5 shots

Verhaeghe's skating on the top line with Tkachuk and Barkov. While both of his linemates have already scored in the series, and Verhaeghe hasn't, it's Verhaeghe who's piling up the shots against Boston.

He's generated 12 shot attempts and nine scoring chances at five-on-five alone. Tkachuk (four attempts, three chances) and Barkov (four attempts, two chances) have deferred to Verhaeghe as the go-to shooter on the line.

He's maintained that role on the top power play as well. Verhaeghe has recorded more attempts and chances than anybody on the Panthers while up a man.

Put it all together, and Verhaeghe's piled up 22 attempts and 15 chances through two games, well clear of any player on either side.

With top-tier linemates in all situations and extremely strong volume, Verhaeghe is worth backing again in Game 3.

Odds: +107 (playable to -120)

Evan Bouchard: Over 0.5 assists

Bouchard tallied 64 assists during the regular season and has ramped things up even further in the playoffs. He has nine assists through six games, including one in Game 1 against the Canucks.

Bouchard sets up a ton of shots in the offensive zone while quarterbacking the offense. He's also attempted at least five shots in every playoff game thus far, helping create rebounds and possible deflections.

He touches the puck a ton on the most dangerous power play in the league and often plays behind either Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl at even strength. He couldn't possibly get better usage for creating offense.

The Canucks' goaltending is a big question mark right now, and I'm expecting the Oilers to strongly test it as they look to grind out a split and steal home-ice advantage.

I expect they'll generate more shots/chances and score a handful of goals en route to a win. Look for Bouchard to pick up at least one assist, as he's done in 18 of his past 30 games (60%).

Odds: -130 (playable to -145)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X at @ToddCordell.

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