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.
New York Rangers (+135) vs Carolina Hurricanes (-165)
NYR: 4-3, 4.00 GF/GP, 4.14 GA/GP
CAR: 4-3, 3.43 GF/GP, 2.86 GA/GP
The Hurricanes outlasted the Boston Bruins in Game 7 to earn the right to continue playing for the Stanley Cup. They’re getting offense from both upfront and on the blue line, with Jaccob Slavin and Tony DeAngelo leading the team in scoring with eight points apiece. Five forwards registered at least five points, including 20-year-old Seth Jarvis, who amassed 40 points in 68 regular-season games. In Frederik Andersen’s absence, Antti Raanta has served the team well with a .927 save percentage.
The Rangers survived a Game 7 of their own, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime thanks to a blast from Artemi Panarin. He finished with seven points in the series, as did Chris Kreider. Mika Zibanejad leads the team in scoring with 11 points, while star defenseman Adam Fox is close behind with 10 points. Igor Shesterkin may have struggled early on in the opening round, but he pulled it together and stood tall in the final games of the series. He sits on a .910 SV% but faced a higher volume of shots compared to Raanta.
Carolina – Win By More Than 1 Goal (-1.5, +155)
Carolina’s offense led them to take down the Bruins in seven, and three of their four wins were by three goals or more. When they remain disciplined and focused on their game, they’re nearly unstoppable. They’re not the most possession-heavy team, and they were outshot by the Bruins in six of seven games, but they know how to force errors and capitalize on their chances. While the Rangers’ defense can hold down a game and move the puck efficiently, the Hurricanes need to test Shesterkin early and try to rattle his confidence.
The Rangers have a slight edge offensively, but the two teams are closely matched everywhere else. Slavin and DeAngelo are experiencing excellent runs in the playoffs, and Andrei Svechnikov hasn’t fully blossomed into the player he was during the regular season. Once that happens, the Rangers will face their toughest challenge yet. Getting their first two lines going in Game 1 will be essential, and surrounding Shesterkin with solid defense should be a top priority.
Total Goals Scored – Over 5.5 (-120)
Due to both teams boasting tons of offensive threats and capable quarterbacks on the power play, Game 1 will likely feature a surplus of goals to showcase each team’s strengths. This specific over/under was met three times in four regular-season meetings, and both teams are firing on all cylinders in the playoffs. There’s no evidence of it stopping anytime soon, and, barring any brilliant goaltending performance, we should see lots of back-and-forth action.
One player to look for tonight is Sebastian Aho. He registered seven points in four regular-season games against the Rangers, and he’s off to a good start in the postseason. He’s close to being a point-per-game player in the playoffs, and he matches extremely well against the Rangers’ defense. Kreider had six points against the Hurricanes in the regular season, but one player to closely watch is Panarin. He registered just one assist against Carolina in four games, but his success in the Round 1 could make that underwhelming streak a thing of the past.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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