The New York Rangers achieved their mission of forcing a Game 7, but to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Final, they must beat the Carolina Hurricanes on the road. The Hurricanes are undefeated when playing in front of their home crowd and have dominated the Rangers so far this series. The Rangers will need to carry the momentum of a victory into Carolina, something they failed to do after winning Games 3 and 4. This is where you’ll find everything, including team win odds, the over/under, and point spreads.
New York Rangers (+125) vs Carolina Hurricanes (-150)
NYR: 7-6, 3.23 GF/GP, 3.08 GA/GP
CAR: 7-6, 2.69 GF/GP, 2.62 GA/GP
The Rangers once again battle back in a series to force a Game 7, but this time they’ll have to end things on the road. They’ll have to figure out a way to get around the Hurricanes’ defense while managing to score more than once. In three away games this series, they’ve mustered up just two goals, being shut out once. Igor Shesterkin looked better at home, but he’s far from being the reason why the Rangers haven’t put away the Hurricanes. He’s sporting a .926 save percentage and has bounced back from a shaky first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
When they’re at home, the Hurricanes are unbeatable, but just how sustainable is that? They’ve been the better team defensively, but Antti Raanta has shown some dents in his armour. He’s still sitting on a .924 SV%, and the defensive core is holding up when they’re at home, and they’ll hope that trend continues. They’ve depended on scoring from their depth, while their star forwards continue to control momentum, so be on the lookout for that during Game 7.
Carolina – Win By More Than 1 Goal (-1.5, +170)
It’s hard to go against Carolina in a winner-take-all situation while playing in front of their fans. The Hurricanes won all six of their home games this postseason in convincing fashion and have outclassed both the Boston Bruins and the Rangers. On most nights, they don’t even need to score a bunch of goals, as two or three is enough to secure a win. The Hurricanes clog up the neutral zone and frustrate teams with the simple approach to getting the puck out and forcing the opposition to reset.
The only way the Rangers can come through is to solve Carolina’s formula and get the scoring they’ve seen from their top-nine forwards. We’ve seen what this team can accomplish when their third line is going, and the game opens up for the top two lines as a result. Artemi Panarin woke up in Game 6 and scored the game-winning goal, and if this is a sign of things to come, Carolina may not have such an easy night ahead of them.
Total Goals Scored – Under 5.5 (-140)
These two teams have registered four goals or less in each of the three games in Carolina. With New York being shut down offensively and both goaltenders standing tall, expect another low-scoring result. It’s not as though they don’t have the firepower to run up a score, but their styles match up closely, taking away a lot of the space they were afforded in earlier rounds. Mika Zibanejad, for example, was lights out in Round 1 but has seen his offense drop off against the Hurricanes.
Although the Hurricanes got 30-goal seasons from two forwards and 20-goal efforts from two more, they’re not particularly a team that will put up five goals on the board routinely. They did so against the Bruins, but it was a necessity with how dangerous Boston’s offense is. Their defense wasn’t up to the task either, but the Rangers ice a core of players capable of shutting things down while carrying the transition up the ice. It’s provided a very close matchup between the two teams, and one that will remain so in Game 7.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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