Game 1 Hurricanes vs Rangers Odds and Preview

Carolina, New York to Open Second-Round Series Sunday at MSG

The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes will square off in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

The Hurricanes are in the second round for the fourth straight season after polishing off the New York Islanders in five games. They’ll face the Rangers for the second time in three seasons after New York swept the Washington Capitals.

New York took the second-round series in seven games in 2022 before falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final. But the Hurricanes are a slight road favorite with -115 odds as of Friday afternoon.

Here’s the Hurricanes vs Rangers odds and preview for Game 1.

Hurricanes logo Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Rangers Rangers logo

Location: Madison Square Garden
Streaming: TBD

Pivotal Game

If you are Stanley Cup betting, you should know that teams that win Game 1 have won 68% of all best-of-7 series, and home teams that have won Game 1 have gone on to win 74.9% of all NHL postseason series.

That makes Game 1 an extra-important game, especially for the Hurricanes. Carolina will start a  series on the road for the first time since the 2019 Eastern Conference Final, a series in which it was swept by the Boston Bruins.

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Winning at least one of the first two is integral for the Hurricanes since they have been dominant at home and dreadful on the road. Carolina is 4-11 in road playoff games dating back to the 2022 playoffs and went 0-3 at MSG in its second-round series against the Rangers that year.

It’s an odd statistic, especially given Carolina’s dominance on the road during the regular season in that span. It is tied with the Rangers for second-most road wins (74) over the past three seasons, and they trail only the Boston Bruins.

Plus, the Rangers have been the most dominant team on home ice in the Eastern Conference this season. New York went 30-11 at MSG during the regular season then took care of the Capitals in each of their two first-round games there.

Protecting home-ice advantage is integral for the Rangers too even though they are a great road team. Carolina is 15-4 at PNC Arena over the past three seasons even though it lost to the Rangers in Game 7 there in 2022.

Stay Out of the Box

Staying disciplined is always important in the playoffs, but this is especially true when playing the Rangers.

New York had the second-best power play in the regular season (26.4%) and scored on six of 16 man-advantage opportunities in its first-round series against Washington. When the Rangers upset the Hurricanes two seasons ago, they were 7 for 21 on the power play, with all seven goals coming on 16 opportunities in Games 3-7 after Carolina built a 2-0 lead.

The Hurricanes long to play this series at 5-on-5, especially since the Rangers scored a pair of short-handed goals against the Caps and their PK was exposed a bit in the first round against the Islanders. Carolina killed just 8 of 11 penalties against (72.7%) and surrendered power-play goals in each of its final two games.

Despite its opportunistic penalty kill, New York should also try to stay out of penalty trouble. The Hurricanes power play is white-hot, scoring at a 33.3% clip in the first round and converting on three of their final five power plays and on Evgeny Kuznetsov’s penalty shot in Game 5.

Unders Galore

Outside of Carolina’s offensive explosion in its 6-1 win at MSG on Jan. 3, these teams tend to play super-close, low-scoring games.

The under hit in three of the Canes’ five games against the Isles, and it was 2-2 in the Rangers’ first-round series. But there’s been six goals or fewer in nine of the past 14 head-to-heads between these teams, including five of their seven postseason games in 2022.

The goaltenders are the most important factor in the NHL starting lineups this time of the year, and both teams will run out an elite netminder. Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen has been excellent all season, posting a 17-3 record this season with just 40 goals allowed in 21 games.

Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin has been dominant too, especially at MSG, where he posted a 2.51 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 27 starts. Shesterkin allowed just seven goals in four games against Washington, posting a .930 save percentage.

Between the expert goaltending and the inevitable feeling-out period in Game 1, look for a low-scoring game, especially with the -110 odds for five goals or fewer.

Game 1 NHL Prediction

Look for the Hurricanes to play a disciplined game and steal home-ice advantage in Game 1.

Carolina 2, New York 1

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

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