The Carolina Hurricanes have been competitive through two games in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final with the Florida Panthers, yet still find themselves down two games to none in the series. They've failed to win even one of their opening home games at PNC Arena, a place that has been incredibly good to them over the past few years, and especially the past couple of playoffs.
To be down 2-0 has to be incredibly frustrating, especially considering some of the dominant stretches of hockey they have put together. Carolina was up 1-0 and had a 18-1 shot lead at one point in the first period during Saturday’s Game 2, yet still ended up settling for a second consecutive overtime loss across North Carolina sports betting.
What's Gone Wrong?
The Canes have simply been unable to take advantage of their strong stretches, which is understandable given their injury woes with Andrei Svechnikov and Max Pacioretty sidelined. Scoring by committee got them through the first couple of rounds, but the contributions from depth options like Jordan Martinook in the second round have dried up, putting too much pressure on their goalies to be perfect.
Game 1 was a marathon, going late into the fourth overtime period before Matthew Tkachuk finally ended the game.
By comparison, Game 2 must have felt like a sprint for those gearing up for North Carolina sports betting apps, as Tkachuk once again ended it in overtime, but this time it came early in the first OT period. Carolina held the shot advantage in both games and its goaltending was strong, but Florida was able to come up with the goals when it needed to and therefore head home with a 2-0 series lead for the second consecutive series.
Sportsbooks Take Notice
After being the favorite for the first two games, Carolina is finally an underdog for Game 3, coming in at -105 at DraftKings Sportsbook, compared to -115 for the home squad. The over/under is set at 5.5 with -110 odds on each side. With both games going under so far, that is likely where the action is headed. Look for a DraftKings North Carolina promo code when the state officially legalizes mobile sports betting.
As for the series, Carolina is in a tough spot to come back from, and it is reflected in the odds market. Its odds to win and advance to the Stanley Cup Final are currently +330, a tough drop from when it was the favorite to win the Cup heading into the series.
The Hurricanes need to win two road games and hold serve at home to advance, and the road games have been their downside in the playoffs the past few years. Facing the most adversity they have all year, now is the time for them to break through in the series if they finally want to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.