The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes are now engaged in a best-of-three situation. Both teams won their two home games in Round 2 and now head back to Carolina for a pivotal Game 5. The Hurricanes have not lost at home during this year’s postseason but haven’t earned a victory on the road either. The Rangers carry all the momentum heading into Carolina after convincingly winning their last two games. This is where you’ll find everything, including team win odds, the over/under, and point spreads.
Sebastian Aho, Anytime Goalscorer (+140)
Heading into Game 5, Sebastian Aho holds two of the Hurricanes’ four goals on home ice in this series and has four points in four games. He’s been one of the most dangerous players on either side when the puck is on his stick. He has nine shots on goal in four games and is generating more offense in high-danger areas than almost any other player in this series. He’s a master at puck possession and has dominated that area in the last two playoff runs while starting over 60% of zone starts in the offensive end.
Head coach Rod Brind’Amour’s utilization of the star forward is working wonders for both the player and the team. Whenever Aho is on the ice, the ice tilts heavily in favour of the Hurricanes, and that’s when they’re most dangerous at getting scoring chances. His ice management is excellent, playing well under a minute per shift, allowing him to have bursts of brilliance each time he’s called on. Aho is a big-time player to watch for tonight, especially if the Hurricanes can continue their style on home ice.
Vincent Trocheck – Player Points (Over 0.5, +100)
In four regular-season games this year against the Rangers, Vincent Trocheck registered two goals and two assists. He’s someone who tends to go quiet for brief stints before popping off and putting multiple points on the board. He was a point-per-game player in Round 1 against the Bruins despite going without a point in three of seven games. He’s averaging three shots per game against the Rangers in this series and has been heavily relied upon in the last two games.
The Hurricanes could use some offense from their second line, and Trocheck is the perfect player to get all three forwards going. Getting him started would not only give the team two centres who are producing but also bring Andrei Svechnikov into the fold. He has no points this series and 10 shots on goal, with a plus-1 rating while playing under 18 minutes each game.
Chris Kreider – Player Power Play Points (Over 0.5, +285)
With a goal in Game 3, Chris Kreider gave the Rangers what they desperately needed in Games 1 and 2. The team’s top-six production went missing early into the series, but a return to their home building was the shot in the arm they required to get going. Kreider started the series with no points and just one shot on net but scored in Game 3 and registered eight shots on goal in both home games. While the Rangers are at a disadvantage with line changes on the road, there’s one area they can improve on: the power play.
New York struck twice while on the man advantage in the last two games, and their offense finally woke up as a result. The team that was frustrated by the goaltending brilliance of Antti Raanta now looks as comfortable as ever. Scoring seven goals in two games certainly gives them the confidence they need heading back to Carolina, and they’ll hope to carry over that momentum. If they can get on the power play early into Game 5, expect the Rangers to fire everything at the net. Kreider is a decent gamble here, and the return is very appealing.
Odds via FanDuel and Bet365.
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