The path for success for the Carolina Hurricanes coming into their second-round best-of-seven series with the New York Rangers was quite clear from the outset. They needed to find a way to beat dominant goalie and Hart Trophy nominee Igor Shesterkin.
Continuing to dominate on the penalty kill, nullifying the Rangers’ best weapons and keeping the games low-scoring and slower-paced wouldn’t hurt, either.
Carolina was the clear favorite heading into the series, priced at -190. The Hurricanes opened at home and won the first two games, solidifying their position as heavy favorites in the series.
Surprisingly, though, the Hurricanes were outplayed by New York in Game 1, but managed to tie the game late on a Sebastian Aho goal and won it in overtime with an Ian Cole shot that deflected off of a Ranger stick and past Shesterkin.
Game 2 was another low-scoring win for the Hurricanes as they only needed a single goal, but Aho added an empty netter late and they skated away with a 2-0 win. Goalie Antti Raanta clearly got the memo that he needed to go toe to toe with Shesterkin and with only one goal allowed in the two games he certainly did.
Rangers Fight Back in Game 3
As the series shifted to New York, the Hurricanes had a chance to take a 3-0 stranglehold on the series, a lead that would be almost insurmountable, even for a Rangers team that came back from 3-1 down in its first-round series against Pittsburgh. The Rangers had other ideas, however, and relied on Shesterkin in a 3-1 win that saw the Rangers star goalie make 43 saves.
North Carolina sports betting is legal at two Cherokee casino retail sportsbooks in the western part of the state.
Legalizing N.C. online sports betting will be on the agenda during the current legislative session. There is a lot of optimism that a mobile wagering bill will be approved in the House. It has already been approved in the Senate.
Rangers vs. Hurricanes Series Schedule
- Game 1, May 18: Hurricanes 2, Rangers 1 (OT).
- Game 2, May 20: Hurricanes 2, Rangers 0.
- Game 3, May 22: Rangers 3, Hurricanes 1 (Carolina leads series 2-1).
- Game 4: Tuesday, 7 p.m. at New York.
- Game 5: Thursday, 7 p.m. at Carolina.
- Game 6: Saturday, TBD at New York (if necessary).
- Game 7: Monday, TBD, at Carolina (if necessary).
Series Odds Improve for Canes
Heading into Tuesday night’s Game 4 up 2-1 in the series, the Hurricanes are now an even stronger favorite to win the series at -320, simply needing to win their home games to advance. A win in Game 4 in New York would make a series win for Carolina even more likely.
The Hurricanes and Rangers currently have the same odds at -110 for Tuesday’s game. The under, which has hit easily in each of the first three games, is -130 for under 5.5 goals, a very low total but one that makes sense given that these two teams allowed the least goals in the league in the regular season and continue to have low-scoring games in this series.
Oddly enough, the game where Carolina took way more shots than the previous two was the one that it lost, as the Rangers were clearly comfortable in a higher-paced environment and grabbed the win. If the Hurricanes manage to get a goal past Shesterkin early, or at least keep New York off the board, they should be able to control the pace of the game and slow it down a bit. That’s a script they are clearly more comfortable with than New York is.
Updated Stanley Cup Odds
Can Canes Win on the Road?
Taking a win from New York in Madison Square Garden would be huge and would lead to Carolina’s odds to win the series becoming borderline unbettable. Expect the Hurricanes to run four lines throughout the game as they usually do, with offensive stars Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, Vincent Trocheck and Teuvo Teravainen spread across the lineup to give the Hurricanes a scoring threat at all times.
With Raanta playing as well as he has, the Canes have the confidence that a couple of goals will be enough to take the game.
Even with New York getting exceptional goaltending Carolina should get enough chances to get a couple by him and head home for Game 5 with a chance to eliminate New York and advance to the Eastern Conference final.