Canes Favored Versus Rangers in Rematch From 2022

Presidents’ Trophy-Winning Rangers are Underdogs Per Hurricanes vs Rangers Series Odds

The two best teams in the Metropolitan Division will meet when the New York Rangers face the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Second Round. The Hurricanes vs Rangers series odds list the latter as the -160 favorites, which is a 60% implied probability of winning the series. This is despite the Rangers winning the Presidents’ Trophy and eliminating Carolina in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

New York swept the Washington Capitals to reach the second round, outscoring the Caps 15-7 in four games. The Hurricanes also swiftly took care of the New York Islanders in five games, finishing with a 19-12 goal advantage.

The Rangers won two of the teams’ three head-to-head meetings in the regular season, but Carolina outscored New York 7-4.

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Here’s a look at the Hurricanes vs Rangers series odds and preview for the Eastern Conference Second Round. Game 1 will be Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The start time will be announced after the remaining first-round series.

Hurricanes logo Hurricanes vs Rangers Rangers logo

Records: Carolina Hurricanes (56-23-8), New York Rangers (59-23-4)
Day/Time
:
Location: Madison Square Garden in New York, NY (Game 1)
Streams: TBD

Canes Favored Due to 5-on-5 Advantage

If you look at the NHL team statistics, you’ll see Carolina is a dominant possession team, especially at 5-on-5, which is why it has the perceived advantage against New York. The Hurricanes lead the NHL in 5-on-5 Corsi-For percentage (CF%) (58.1%) and are fourth out of 16 teams in Expected Goals percentage (xG%) (54.7) at 5-on-5.

The Rangers are a demonstrably less effective team at 5-on-5, proven by their plus-1 regular-season goal differential and 45.0 Expected Goal percentage at 5-on-5 in the first round against Washington. However, the Rangers have a better actual goal differential at 5-on-5 in the playoffs thus far. New York outscored Washington 7-5, and Carolina outscored the Islanders 9-8 at 5-on-5.

As the series tightens, and the referees become less apt to call penalties, playing well at 5-on-5 will be integral. Carolina led the NHL in regular-season CF% (59.5) and second in xG% at 5-on-5 (56.9) and had a +23 goal differential at that strength.

The playoffs have been a continuation of that trend, and as long as the Hurricanes stay out of the box and their goaltending continues to play well, they should win the series.

Rangers Hold Goaltending Edge

New York netminder Igor Shesterkin has all the characteristics of a goalie capable of stealing a series. The 2022 Vezina Trophy winner, who finished third in Hart Trophy voting that year, is second in the NHL in playoff save percentage (SV%) (.931) and all-situation goals-saved above average (GSAA) (3.01) among goalies with at least four starts behind Jeremy Swayman of the Boston Bruins.

Shesterkin was far superior to Washington goalie Charlie Lindgren in the first round and has stolen a second-round series against Carolina in the past. Shesterkin posted a .957 SV% in New York’s seven-game win over the Hurricanes in 2022, which included consecutive 37-save, two-goals-against performances in Games 6 and 7.

The elite goaltender outplayed the duo of Antti Raanta and Pyotr Kochetkov in that series, who combined for a .901 SV% in the seven games. But barring an in-series injury, veteran Frederik Andersen will be in net for Carolina, and he’s been awesome all season — despite missing about four months with a blood-clot issue.

Andersen is 17-3 in 21 games this season and posted a .912 SV% and 1.61 GSAA in the five-game series win over the Islanders. Andersen is 9-4 with a .921 save percentage and 1.98 goals-against average in 14 playoff starts for Carolina and is 36-27 with a .917 save percentage in 67 career playoff starts.

Despite Andersen’s exceptional play, Shesterkin can swing some of the advantage back to the Rangers and even potentially steal the series if he can stand on his head.

Special Teams

Aside from goaltending, the Rangers could steal the series if their power play (PP) stays red hot.

New York had the second-best man advantage during the regular season (26.4%), which carried over to the playoffs too. The Rangers are tied with the Avalanche for third-best playoff power play (37.5%), and Jack Roslovic and Vincent Trocheck each have two power-play goals in the postseason.

Not only did New York’s power play dominate, but it also scored two short-handed goals, which was the same number of PP goals it allowed in 17 man-advantages against.

The Carolina power play has been red hot too, scoring five times in 15 advantages against the Islanders. The Hurricanes scored on the PP in four of the five games and have struck on three of their past five man-advantage opportunities in their past two games.

Carolina led the NHL in penalty-killing (PK) percentage (86.4%) during the regular season, but its PK has been a soft underbelly thus far in the playoffs. The Canes killed eight of 11 PPs against the Isles, and their 72.7% kill rate is ninth-best in the playoffs.

The Rangers were 7-of-21 (33.3%) on the PP against the Hurricanes in their 2022 playoff series — though Carolina did score two short-handed goals. Mika Zibanejad scored more PP goals (3) than the entire Carolina team with the man advantage in that series.

Home Ice Advantage?

If you look back at the NHL playoffs schedule from 2022, the home team won six of the seven games. But the road team won two of the clubs’ games during the regular season.

The Hurricanes have been one of the best teams on home ice over the past three seasons. They are tied for the second-best points percentage (.728) on home ice in the NHL over the past three seasons and are 15-4 at PNC Arena in the playoffs in that span.

But the Rangers won a Game 7 in Raleigh in 2022, and their fans have a knack for taking over rival teams’ buildings in the playoffs. Plus, New York was arguably the best home team in the sport during the regular season, boasting a 30-11 record and are +29 in goal differential at Madison Square Garden.

Each team is undefeated on home ice during the playoffs thus far, and both Carolina and New York are averaging four-plus goals per game on home ice. The Hurricanes and Rangers each had 25 road wins during the regular season, tied for third-most in the NHL.

The Rangers must steal at least one in Raleigh to win the series. If New York can do so it’ll put pressure on Carolina, which is just 4-11 on the road in the playoffs over the past three postseasons.

Prediction

The second round is the toughest to make NHL picks today, especially when teams of this caliber are going at it. But I’ll take the Hurricanes in six tight, low-scoring games.

For NHL betting odds analysis, stats, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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