NHL Eastern Conference playoffs: Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Rangers series preview and predictions

Photo of Mark Lammey

Mark Lammey

NHL · 1 month ago

Show Bio

I've been a capper since my love for sports met my proficiency with numbers and math. The NFL and NCAAF have always been my first loves, followed by the NHL. Although I prefer sports that involve hitting people, I still love capping MLB, soccer, tennis, and even some esports. Living in Florida has its perks like year-round sports of any kind.

Both the Rangers and Hurricanes were pushed to a Game 7 in the first round, and ultimately prevailed. They are familiar foes and had several hard-fought games towards the end of the season. New York showed great mental toughness coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Penguins, while the Hurricanes were dominant on home ice by winning all four of those games in the first round. That’s where this series begins on Wednesday night.

Breaking down the New York Rangers

The Rangers are a balanced, complete team that utilizes their skating talent to the fullest in front of their world-class goaltending. They made a big splash at the deadline by acquiring Andrew Copp from the Winnipeg Jets, who made an immediate impact. New York is widely regarded as one of the best defensive teams, but it does not lack in the offensive department either.

New York finished the regular season with five skaters either above or nearing an average of 1 point per game. Chris Kreider was one of those skaters ,and is even more recognized for his goal-scoring. He finished the season with 52 goals, the 3rd-most in the league behind only Auston Matthews and Leon Draisaitl. Kreider was heavily assisted by Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox, who had 74 and 63 assists, respectively. Those values were the fourth and tenth-best in the NHL, demonstrating just how potent that trio has been. Along with longtime Ranger Mika Zibanejad’s 81 points in 81 games and Copp’s 18 points in 16 games with his new team, the Rangers pose a threat to any opposition.

However, it would be a disservice to New York to not mention their world-class goaltender, Igor Shesterkin. He finished the season with a .935 save percentage, the best in the league, and was a nearly -4000 favorite to win the Vezina trophy for best goalie. He was even named a Hart trophy finalist for the league MVP, something that rarely happens for goaltenders. Most Rangers fans would admit that he has carried the team to this point by leading them to the second-best goaltending mark in the league, allowing just 2.49 goals per game. 

Also check out our preview for the Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightening 

Breaking down the Carolina Hurricanes

Just as the Rangers aren’t a one-trick pony, neither are the Hurricanes. They stormed through their competition with a combination of speed, stick skills, and all-star defenseman. Carolina’s defense was led by goaltender Frederik Andersen, who has been injured throughout the postseason thus far. However, they have not missed a beat.

One thing that assisted Carolina’s goaltending was its shot-blocking. The Hurricanes allowed just 28.2 shots per game, the fewest in the league, which helped lead them to allowing just 2.44 goals per game, also the best in the league. Backup goaltender Antti Raanta played in 28 games in the regular season, and has carried over his success in Andersen’s absence. He ended the first round with a .927 save percentage, and allowed just 12 goals in a seven game series.

It also helps that Raanta has some serious skating talent in front of him. The young duo of Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov is going to be one that is feared for years to come. They’re both in their early 20’s and already averaging just about a point per game. Along with Teuvo Teravainen, the trio combined for 89 goals and 215 points. One unique thing about the Hurricanes is that they use Svechnikov to run the point on their power play unit. This is significant as it allows them to keep all of their primary wingers on the ice for the most efficient shot-taking possible.

Carolina also has one of the best defenders in the league in Tony DeAngelo. With his talent and shot-blocking, it’s no surprise the Hurricanes ended the season with a penalty kill of 88%, the best in the league. They’ll need to use that to its full effectiveness to hold off the Kreider and the Rangers in this series.

New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes series prediction: Carolina Hurricanes (-190)

While the prediction is for the Hurricanes to win this series, it seems like a bit of a steep price for how even these teams are. Therefore, I would suggest looking for a prop of the Hurricanes to win in either 6 or 7 games. This series may very well end up being another classic. With the 2 best defensive teams in the league, these should be hard-fought games. The difference lies in the home ice advantage. After seeing how dominant the Hurricanes were on home ice in the opening round, that should be what gets them over the edge in this round as well. They outscored the Bruins 18-6 in the games that were in Carolina, and only one of them was not a multiple-goal victory.

With the first couple of games being at home for the Hurricanes, I would also suggest locking in this bet early, as they may get off to a quick 2-0 lead before the Rangers win a game. Shesterkin was not in his regular season form in the first round, even getting pulled in back-to-back games. These teams are rather even, but the Hurricanes are more consistent and should squeak out a series win in Game 7.

Pickswise is the home of free NHL Picks and NHL PredictionsCheck back for our daily NHL Best Betsincluding our favorite NHL Prop Bets.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$200

Bet $5, Win $200 In Free Bets!

Sign up for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any sport, any market

Win $200 in free bets regardless if your bet wins or loses

Must be 21 years or over to participate. Reward paid in site credit. Offer valid for new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,500

Get up to $1,500 Risk-Free First Bet!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

PointsBet

$100

Bet $100 Risk-Free on every NBA Finals Game

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Each NBA Finals game, your first Fixed Odds bet on the game will be Risk-Free up to $100

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.