NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Prediction: Predators vs. Hurricanes
Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Antti Raanta
- The Hurricanes host the Predators as part of Thursday night's NHL slate.
- The Hurricanes are 9-1 over their past 10 games, but lost their last time out. Can they get back on track against Nashville?
- Jonny Lazarus digs into the odds and offers up his best bet below.
Predators vs. Hurricanes Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
The Carolina Hurricanes have been the hottest team in the NHL, but they just saw their 11-game win streak come to an end after losing to the New York Rangers 5-3. The Canes played a strong enough game to get the win, but the Rangers came out on top.
It's been a tough season for the Nashville Predators as they currently sit in sixth place in the Central Division. They also have not had the best of luck in recent years on their trips to Carolina.
The Hurricanes have been excellent on home ice this season, and I expect them to come out of the gate very hard, hoping to get right back in the win column. Find a preview and prediction for Predators vs. Hurricanes below.
Will the Predators Offense Show Up?
The Nashville Predators have certainly not lived up to the expectations that they had going into the season after making the playoffs last year. Filip Forsberg (33 points), Matt Duchene (28 points) and Roman Josi (30 points) have been solid this season production-wise, but last year they carried the Preds on their backs.
As a team, the Preds have been pretty horrendous offensively, currently averaging 2.72 goals per game, which ranks 27th in the league. That being said, their last three games have been nothing short of offensive outbursts, as they have scored a combined 16 goals in that span. Even though they have exploded recently, their opponent tonight is a very difficult team to score on.
Juuse Saros has been decent this season, but he hasn't had the same impact that he did last year. The Preds are a middle of the pack team when it comes to defense, allowing 3.03 goals against per game. Saros enters this contest skating to a 13-10-5 record with a .915 save percentage and a 2.76 goals against average.
It hasn't been so bad for the Preds lately, but they have a tough test tonight.
Hurricanes Defense Has Been Elite
Despite their most recent loss against the Rangers, the Hurricanes have been the best team in the NHL over the last five weeks. Their roster might not be loaded with superstars, but the way they play as a cohesive unit is the main reason why they have so much success.
The Hurricanes' strength on the defensive end separates them from other teams in the NHL. They enter this game as the fifth-best defensive team in the league, only giving up 2.61 goals against per game as their goaltenders have both been absolutely fantastic.
Pyotr Kochetkov and Antti Raanta have split the cage lately, Kochetkov started the last game, so there is a stronger chance that Raanta gets the nod in this one. Raanta is 10-2-2 with a .897 save percentage and a 2.62 goals against average. As a team, the Canes have the best xGA/60 in the league, which right now is at a 2.58 Expected Goals Against per 60.
The Canes have been money on home ice this season, going 12-3-1 at PNC Arena, and tonight should be another strong effort at home.
Predators vs. Hurricanes Pick
I haven't loved what I have seen from the Nashville Predators this season, and the Carolina Hurricanes continue to show why they are one of the league's most elite teams.
I thought the Canes showed a very strong effort against the Rangers in their last game, but they just weren't able to get the result they wanted.
The Predators have found the back of the net in their last three games, but none of those opponents were as strong as the Hurricanes are defensively.
I don't trust the Preds to go into Carolina and steal two points, so I have to go with the hottest team in the league for this one. I think the Canes win in 60 minutes.
Pick: Carolina Hurricanes 3-way (-130)