Two Metropolitan division rivals square off in Raleigh tonight as the New York Rangers visit the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s time to continue our NHL odds series with a Rangers-Hurricanes prediction and pick.
Carolina just became the second team in the NHL to get to the 100-point marker on the season and to do that, it was a 3-2 win against this same Rangers squad. Carolina has won three of their last four and is starting to pick up some offense after a stretch of scoring just one goal in three games. New York had won four straight games until their loss at the hands of the Hurricanes and had back-to-back shutouts in that span. Their 22 goals in a four-game win streak were also pretty astounding.
Here are the Rangers-Hurricanes NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Rangers-Hurricanes Odds
New York Rangers: +1.5 (-200)
Carolina Hurricanes: -1.5 (+164)
Over: 5.5 (-128)
Under: 5.5 (+104)
How To Watch Rangers vs. Hurricanes
Stream: NHLPP/ ESPN+
Time: 7:00 PM ET/ 4:00 PM PT
*Watch NHL games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Rangers Could Cover The Spread
For the Rangers to bounce back and beat Carolina this time, they are going to have to fix a few things from their last performance. The first is going to have to shots on goal. Carolina got 39 shots on goal during the game. That is the most this Rangers squad has given up since January 7th against the Devils. That game was also a loss for the Rangers. In games they have given up 39 or more shots, like they did the other night, the Rangers are 1-3, with their one win going to overtime and a shootout.
Second, the Rangers need to convert on the power play. They went 0-3 the other night on the man advantage. Since the start of February when the Rangers score on the man advantage, they are 11-3. Conversely, when they fail to score on the man-advantage, they are 4-6 in that timeframe. They are a much better team when they can take advantage of those opportunities.
Finally, they need to find a better pace of play. When the Rangers attempt to play at a face pace and lose time in the offensive zone, they struggle. This was the case against the Hurricanes, as they only had a 25% offensive zone rate in the game. In the other two most recent match-ups where the Rangers were below 33% offensive zone rate, both games took overtime to win, and both games were because they slowed down the pace in the third period. The Rangers need to set up their offense, and Carolina will try to disrupt that again.
Why The Hurricanes Could Cover The Spread
The Hurricanes need to do exactly what they just did to beat the Rangers again. They have outshot every team in March so far, and that has resulted in a 6-3 month. The Hurricanes have also controlled the pace of play, clearing out of the defensive zone quickly, and not allowing the other team to set up. This has resulted in the same 6-3 record this month.
The forecheck will be huge for the Hurricanes. They are one of the best teams in the NHL on the forecheck and this was seen against the Rangers. The game-winning goal was a turnover generated by Brent Burns and then a pass to Teuvo Teravainen, who finished the play. They are using that forecheck to withstand their injury concerns. They started getting more aggressive there when Pacioretty went down but continued it with the injury to Svechnikov. If they play like the other night on the forecheck again tonight, they will win.
Finally for Carolina is just goal-scoring. When the Hurricanes have gotten three or more goals, they have won their last 11. When they score less than three, they have just won once in their last seven. It may be as simple as getting to three goals for the Hurricanes.
Final Rangers-Hurricanes Prediction & Pick
This could be a playoff preview. Right now, this would be a second-round matchup if Carolina beats a wild-card team and New York can take care of New Jersey. Carolina needs this game to keep pace for the top spot in the Metropolitan division. They would much rather face the Islanders, Penguins, or Panthers in the first round than have to go up against the Rangers if New Jersey catches them. New Jersey is just two points back, so the Canes need to win again. They also just showed how to play the Rangers perfectly. This time they are at home. Expect another lower-scoring affair, and the Hurricanes get to three goals, meaning a win for them.
Final Rangers-Hurricanes Prediction & Pick: Under 5.5 (+104)