The Carolina Hurricanes visit the New York Rangers for Game 3 after winning back-to-back games in front of their home crowd. The Rangers are in a tough spot, having scored just one goal in two games. They’ll rely on the energy of the Big Apple crowd to light the spark. This is where you’ll find everything, including team win odds, the over/under, and point spreads.
Carolina Hurricanes (-120) vs New York Rangers (+100)
CAR: 6-3, 3.11 GF/GP, 2.33 GA/GP
NYR: 4-5, 3.22 GF/GP, 3.67 GA/GP
The Hurricanes got a key shorthanded goal from an unlikely source in Brendan Smith, the former Ranger defenseman. Sebastian Aho‘s second goal of this series sealed the victory, and now the Hurricanes travel to New York up two games to none. Historically, the Hurricanes have taken a 2-0 series lead six times since their relocation in 1997 to North Carolina. Two of those times, they made an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final and won the Stanley Cup in 2006. It also marks the fourth consecutive year they accomplished this feat, but the team has gone on to the Conference Final just once since 2019.
The Rangers are getting the goaltending they need out of Igor Shesterkin, but the problem now rests in their scoring. It’s a reversal of fortunes from the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, as the team has just one goal in the first two games. The duo of Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, who carried a big portion of the Rangers production, have been reduced to five shots on goal combined. It’s been a defensive clinic on both sides, with each goaltender standing tall, but New York’s top two lines have to find a way to get going if they hope to get back into the series.
Carolina – Win By More Than 1 Goal (-1.5, +220)
Carolina was tied for the second-best away team in the regular season, finishing with a 25-12-4 record. Aho, who already has two goals against the Rangers, finished with 23 goals in 40 away games, which is tied for sixth-best in the league. They ranked top five in the league in goals with 3.49 per game and a fourth-best penalty-kill efficiency of 84.1%. The Hurricanes were the road warriors that teams fear facing in the postseason.
If the scoring was low enough already, the Rangers were second-to-last in terms of goals per game at home with 2.27, in front of only the Hurricanes, unironically. Despite boasting two point-per-game players and a 52-goal scorer, the Rangers don’t score very often. To make matters worse, they’re now faced with a capable goaltender in Antti Raanta and a defensive core that can clog up the neutral zone.
Total Goals Scored – Under 5.5 (-140)
The Rangers last got a goal from Filip Chytil at the 7:07 mark of the first period in Game 1. Since then, they have yet to score another on 45 shots. Zibanejad, who led the team with 11 points in Round 1 against the Penguins, has just four shots on net and a minus-3 rating. What’s more concerning is Kreider and Artemi Panarin, two of the team’s biggest point producers, have combined for zero points and three shots on goal. They’ll hope to get some energy from the home crowd, but they’re in tough against a very good road team.
All the Hurricanes need to do in Game 3 is replicate their previous two games. Perhaps staying out of the box will make things easier, but they have the defensive structure to keep the Rangers at bay. Raanta has been good when called upon but has barely been tested thus far. If the Hurricanes continue to limit the Rangers to under 30 shots per goal while controlling the pace, this will be a short series.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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