Rangers Aim To Stay Perfect For Game 2 Versus Canes

Hurricanes vs Rangers Odds Have New York as an Underdog Again

The New York Rangers can take a commanding series lead against the Carolina Hurricanes with a win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The Hurricanes vs Rangers odds have the hosts as slight underdogs at +102.

Mika Zibanejad had three points, including a pair of first-period goals, and Vincent Trocheck and Artemi Panarin also scored for the Rangers, who hung on for a 4-3 win in Game 1 on Sunday.

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Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves, and the Rangers improved to 5-0 in the NHL playoffs.

Jaccob Slavin, Martin Necas, and Seth Jarvis each scored for Carolina, which fell to 1-2 on the road in the postseason and 4-12 away from Raleigh over the past three postseasons.

New York leads the best-of-seven series 1-0, but Carolina can retake home-ice advantage with a win in Game 2.

Hurricanes logo Hurricanes vs Rangers Rangers logo

Records: Carolina Hurricanes (56-24-8), New York Rangers (60-23-4)
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Streaming: ESPN

Carolina Favored (Again)

If you’re placing NHL best bets for the playoffs, taking the Rangers to win on home ice may end up being a lucrative endeavor.

The Hurricanes are a slight -118 favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook in Game 2 despite their Game 1 loss. New York is +102 at DraftKings Sportsbook, despite the fact it was 31-10 against the moneyline at MSG during the regular season and is 3-0 there so far in the playoffs.

New York was a -105 underdog in Game 1, which means oddsmakers think it is slightly less likely to win the second game. Given the propensity of road wins, plus the fact many feel this will be a long series, Carolina winning Game 2 would not be shocking.

Still, the Canes have struggled on the road in the playoffs. Carolina is 9-20 in road playoff games with fans since coach Rod Brind’Amour took over in 2018-19 and has dropped at least two away games in six of the nine non-bubble playoff series he’s coached.

Madison Square Garden is becoming a veritable house of horrors for the Canes in the playoffs too, since they have never won a postseason game there. New York is 4-0 against Carolina in the postseason in Manhattan with a 46.1% power-play-conversion rate and a 16-7 goal differential in those NHL games.

But oddsmakers still aren’t convinced New York will win even though the Rangers have won three straight Game 2s, with two coming on home ice after winning Game 1.

Special Teams Rules (Again)

The Hurricanes had more shot attempts (64-40), goals (3-2), and Expected goals (2.16-1.74) than the Rangers at even strength in Game 1, per Natural Stat Trick. But New York once again won the special-teams battle. It went 2-of-2 on the power play (PP) with a pair of lightning-quick, first-period PP goals.

Carolina was 0 for 5 with the man-advantage and managed just four shots on goal on its power plays Sunday. The Hurricanes are one of the NHL league leaders at 5-on-5 but will need to clean up their penalty kill (PK) to have a chance in the series.

The Canes have allowed at least one PP goal in four of its six playoff games so far, and it is killing at just a 61.5% success rate — after leading the NHL in PK during the regular season.

The Rangers’ power-play puck movement is on another level right now, and it’s not what a struggling PK would want to see. Plus, PP success can be a real confidence boost, and New York’s should be at this point.

But failed power plays can be a momentum sapper too, and New York’s PK, with its aggressive point coverage, is flummoxing its opponents too.

The Hurricanes’ power play was second in the league (26.9%) — slightly superior to New York’s third-ranked PP — but they struggled to get set up in Game 1, especially during their two first-period man-advantages.

Carolina has to like its chances based on how it played in Game 1 after the first period, even remaining pretty disciplined by taking only two penalties. It’s hard to foresee New York going 100% on the PP and PK in the series.

But it’s looking as though the Rangers special teams will be an X-factor in the series, one way or the other.

Shaky in Net

Neither goaltender was especially sharp, especially Andersen, who stopped just 19 shots in defeat. Panarin’s game-winning goal, which put New York up 4-2 midway through the third period, should’ve been stopped by the veteran goalie. The Rangers’ power-play puck movement was devastatingly efficient, but Andersen was down and out of position on Trocheck’s goal that put New York up 3-1.

Andersen, who entered with a 21-4 record in 26 appearances this NHL season, had a -2.11 goals-saved above average in Game 1 and stopped just 5 of 9 high-danger and medium-danger chances against in Game 1.

Shesterkin was better but not by much, allowing three goals on 25 shots against. He finished with a -0.94 goals saved above average in Game 1 but stopped 9 of 11 high- and medium-danger chances against.

The Rangers will have a hard time winning if Shesterkin struggles as he did in Game 1 since Slavin’s first-period goal was a low-danger chance that evaded him. Special teams can only carry New York so far.

Game 2 Prediction

It’s hard to make an NHL prediction today at this point in the playoffs. But Carolina is probably too good to fall behind 2-0.

Hurricanes 3, Rangers 2

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

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