The New York Rangers visit the Carolina Hurricanes for Game 1 of the second round. The Hurricanes won three of four meetings against the Rangers during the regular season, outscoring them 16-10. This is where you’ll find everything, including team win odds, the over/under, and point spreads.
Sebastian Aho – Anytime Goalscorer (+140)
In the opening round of the playoffs, Sebastian Aho registered points in three of seven games, including two multi-point games. He’s dangerous with and without the puck and always manages to find opening lanes and slip behind defenders. He averaged 2.42 shots on net, an area he’ll hope to improve on in the series against the Rangers. He came close to scoring 40 this season, shooting at an impressive 16.7% rate.
Despite his slow start in the playoffs this year, Aho is a proven game-changer in games against the Rangers. In four meetings this season, Aho scored in three of them, finishing their regular-season series with seven points. He has six goals in 10 games spread over the last three seasons. If Igor Shesterkin comes out shaky in Game 1, expect Aho to get on the board.
Jaccob Slavin – Player Points (Over 0.5, +120)
Playing on the team’s top pairing with Tony DeAngelo has given Jaccob Slavin the room required to blossom in the playoffs. He has points in six of seven games, and two multi-point games, sharing the team lead in that regard. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour’s bench management is paying off, as Slavin is playing upwards of 25 shifts per game but staying on the ice for less than a minute at a time. The short shifts have allowed him to adjust at various points in the game when momentum shifts to either side.
He’ll need to continue playing at the top of his game if the Hurricanes want to have a chance. He was a big storyline in Round 1 against the Bruins, but in four regular-season meetings this year, he registered just one assist. The Hurricanes were the better of the two teams, and Slavin’s plus-7 rating in those meetings looks promising. He’ll continue to play the second wave of the power play, with DeAngelo riding shotgun on the first wave. If the Rangers’ 73.9% penalty-kill rate holds up, look for Slavin’s name on the scoresheet.
Adam Fox – Power Play Points (Over 0.5, +185)
Everyone expected Adam Fox to be a factor in Round 1 against the Penguins, and he lived up to the hype. Registering points in all seven games, including one multi-point game, Fox came close to leading the team in scoring. His three goals and 11 points place him in second among all defensemen entering this series, and he also has four power-play points on the board. He’s playing some of his best hockey in his short career, which says a lot considering he won the Norris Trophy last season and finished fourth in rookie voting two years ago.
It’s worth noting that in four regular-season meetings, he was held off the scoresheet in three of them. With only one assist to his name, Fox will look to put that streak behind him and get on the board early and often. The Rangers have the fourth-best power play among teams still in the playoffs, and with the Hurricanes’ sub-80% penalty-kill rate, it could be a prime opportunity for Fox. With the weapons they have upfront and Fox quarterbacking the first wave, expect him to register at least one point on the man advantage tonight.
Odds via Yahoo and Bet365.
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