Rangers Look To Stay Unbeaten in Critical Game 3

Game 3 Rangers vs Hurricanes Odds Against Blueshirts Again

The New York Rangers can push the Carolina Hurricanes to the brink of elimination when they square off in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round on Thursday at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Rangers vs Hurricanes odds do favor Carolina to defend home ice at -170. The Rangers are +142 underdogs.

New York rallied for a 4-3 win in Game 2 on Vincent Trocheck’s power-play goal at 7:24 of double overtime Tuesday, which gave it a 2-0 advantage in the series. Alexis Lafreniere scored twice, and goalie Igor Shesterkin made 54 saves, helping the Rangers improve to 6-0 in the postseason.

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Jake Guentzel scored twice, and Frederik Andersen stopped 35 shots for Carolina, which dropped its third of four road games in these playoffs.

The series will shift to Raleigh, which means a shift in the Rangers vs Hurricanes odds. Here’s a glimpse at the outlook for the all-important Game 3.

Rangers logo Rangers vs Hurricanes Hurricanes logo

Records: New York Rangers (61-23-4), Carolina Hurricanes (56-24-9)

Location: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
Streaming: TNT, truTV, MAX

Home Cookin’

The Canes may be 1-3 on the road in the playoffs, and 9-21 in the postseason away from PNC Arena under Rod Brind’Amour, but they have been near-impossible to beat on home ice in the playoffs over the past three seasons.

Carolina is 3-0 on home ice this season and boasts a 15-4 playoff record in Raleighwood since 2022. The Canes won three of four home games in their series against the Rangers in 2022, falling only in Game 7.

Thus, Carolina is favored and the Rangers are underdogs. If you’re looking at the best NHL bets today, taking the Rangers to win would not be a bad pick, given their undefeated record and the value.

Still, Game 3 should be like a Game 7 for the Hurricanes, since they will need to hold serve at home to have a chance in the series. Falling behind 3-0 is a near-certain death sentence since only four of 209 teams have rallied to win after falling behind by three games.

A 2-0 deficit may be hard enough for Carolina to crawl out from under since it has only done so twice in seven series since moving from Hartford in 1997. History is on New York’s side too, since teams that win the first two games on home ice are 264-34 in the series.

Special Teams Wins (Again)

If you’ve been perusing the NHL stats, you know New York has four goals on nine power plays (PP) (44.4%). Given that the two games were decided by one goal apiece, New York’s PP has been the difference in the series.

It’s not just that the Rangers are scoring at will on the power play but also the timeliness with which they have scored. Carolina had played an expert road game through two-and-a-half periods Tuesday, holding a 3-2 lead with 15 minutes left while killing its first three man-down situations.

But Chris Kreider tied the game on the Rangers’ third power play, and then when Brady Skjei sat in the box for the second time in as many overtime periods, the end felt inevitable.

The Rangers’ red-hot power play has scored in five straight games and has multiple goals in four of those affairs. New York has the worst 5-on-5 Expected Goals percentage of any team still playing (47.3%). It averages just 1.83 5-on-5 goals per game in the playoffs yet has still not lost because its PP is firing at 40% through six games.

But it’s not just New York’s man-advantage that has cut into Carolina. The Canes PP, the second-best unit in the sport during the regular season, is having a power outage. New York has killed all 10 if its penalties in the series, including two in overtime in Game 2.

The good news for Carolina Hurricanes is its power play is clicking at 33.3% in the playoffs at home. The bad news is its PK is killing just 71.4% of power plays against at PNC Arena so far this postseason.

Igor Over Freddie

For as valiantly as each goalie has battled at times, Shesterkin is outplaying Andersen in the series. Carolina is 0-for-10 on the power play partly due to Shesterkin’s short-handed saves. He has 1.59 goals-saved above average in the series. The Canes have 1.62 expected power-play goals in the series yet are still looking for answers with the man advantage..

All the advanced metrics are in Carolina’s favor. It has advantages in Corsi-For (57%), Corsi-For Shots-For (55.9%) and Expected Goals (52.25%) percentages, yet Shesterkin boasts a .927 save percentage and Andersen’s is just .871 in the series.

Given the tiny margins in the series, that has been enough.

Game 3 Prediction

If you filled out an NHL bracket, you wouldn’t have predicted this as a short series. I can’t imagine Carolina will lose on home ice given the stakes.

If you’re looking for a longshot Rangers vs Hurricanes odds pick, try Carolina to cover the puck line at about +150. All three Carolina home wins have come by at least two goals this postseason.

Carolina 3, New York 1

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

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