After defeating the New York Rangers in Game 5, the Carolina Hurricanes are one win away from moving on to the Eastern Conference Final. The pattern of home teams winning continued, and the series heads back to Madison Square Garden. The Rangers may have had the momentum going into Game 5, but they’ll need to win the next two games to continue their postseason. With Game 6 potentially being the final game of the series, you can choose to take the favourite, chase value, or take a chance at the home run play.
The Favourite – Hurricanes as Outright Winners (-450)
The Hurricanes will enter Game 6 as heavy favourites to not only win but also end the series and advance to the next round. To do so, they’ll need to win a road game, something they have yet to do this postseason. They’ve reduced the Rangers offense to two goals in three home games but have been pumped for seven in the two matches at Madison Square Garden. The same thing occurred against the Boston Bruins when they allowed 14 goals in three away games but just six in four home games.
They’ll need to find a way to become the road warriors they were during the regular season, where they posted a 25-12-4 record, good for third-best in the league. If the Hurricanes can capitalize on their momentum from Game 5, this could be the end of New York’s magical run. If not, they’ll have a deciding Game 7 at home, where Antti Raanta is at his best. If you’re following trends, it only makes sense for the Hurricanes to win this series, whether they do it on the road or at home.
The Value Pick – Hurricanes in 7 (+220)
The Hurricanes in seven holds great value, as it puts them in a situation where they end the series at home. This has history repeating itself from their first-round series against the Bruins. If each team wins their home games, the Hurricanes winning in seven is guaranteed. A promising sign from the Hurricanes’ base is that Andrei Svechnikov and Vincent Trocheck scored their first goal of this series. They were held off the scoresheet every other game, so getting both of them running is a good sign.
When they have all lines rolling and contributing, the Hurricanes are unmatched. They have the defensive structure to suffocate any offense and close up the neutral zone. If they have three lines contributing offensively and their fourth line getting under the skin of the Rangers, they’ll be a miserable team to play against. Scoring their first power-play goal of the series is something they hope continues, as it looked dominant each time the Rangers took a penalty.
The Home Run Play – Rangers in 7 (+330)
Heading back to New York for Game 6, the Rangers are matched up evenly with the Hurricanes at -110. The one thing they have going for them is that they’re unbeaten at home against the Hurricanes. Igor Shesterkin has looked almost unbeatable in his last two starts at home, and the Rangers got goals from their star forwards. While they were shut down in Game 5, a return to the Big Apple could be the spark they need to force a Game 7.
Unfortunately, Game 7 will be their most-challenging task to date. They’ll need to hand the Hurricanes their first loss in Carolina. In Round 1, they forced a Game 7 against the Pittsburgh Penguins while on the road after losing the first two away games. They have the mentality of an animal backed into a corner, and they’re not afraid to show their teeth and bite back. Their deadline acquisitions have looked good thus far, but the group will need to be better for the next two games. Should the Rangers win Game 6, they could be the team to send Carolina fans leaving without a happy ending.
Odds via FanDuel
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