Hurricanes vs. Senators Odds, Picks, Predictions: Ottawa’s Winning Run Seems Likely to End (Jan. 27)
Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Sebastian Aho.
- Two teams on solid runs face off tonight, when the Hurricanes are road favorites against the Senators.
- Ottawa just lost top forward Drake Batherson, which could be a tough blow to its current run of results.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick for the game below.
Hurricanes vs. Senators Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
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Ottawa will look to build on a strong 2-0-1 run of play, having dominated Buffalo 5-0 in a great top-to-bottom effort Tuesday at home. However the Senators will have their hands full against one of the league’s true elite teams in Carolina, as the hosts begin life without top forward Drake Batherson.
Can the Sens find a way to shock yet another top team here, or will Carolina’s immensely deep offensive unit prove too much to handle?
Canes Attack Coming Together
Surely coach Rod Brind’Amour didn’t love his team’s late collapse in an eventual 4-3 overtime victory to the Golden Knights on Tuesday, but the win marked the third over a top team in a week span, having stomped Boston 7-1 at TD Garden Tuesday and the Rangers 6-3 on Friday in a massive showdown for first in the Metro.
Those big wins have helped push the Canes to a second-best points percentage of .744, with a second-best goal differential per game, below only Colorado in that regard.
Whether it’s playing in a smaller hockey market, or the lack of a deep playoff run (although they did make the Eastern Conference Final in 2019), this Carolina team continues to be wildly under-credited for how good it has been in recent years. The Canes have a roster and analytics that suggest this year is the organization’s best chance yet for a playoff run with this core.
This should be a great matchup for the Canes, whose depth lines will be in for very favorable matchups against the Sens. I think we’ll see Carolina turn that into offensive production.
Martin Necas was absolutely flying against Vegas and is one of several players who could thrive against the Sens’ lackluster depth here. Behind Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen and others, Necas is playing a modest supporting role instead of being the team’s go-to star.
This appears a good spot to possibly let Antti Raanta get some minutes between the pipes, and it’s definitely possible we may see him start a game for the first time since Dec. 30 against Montreal.
Raanta has been a perfectly solid backup for the Canes with a +1.9 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) rating and .908 save percentage in 10 games this season.
Are Improved Senators For Real?
Things are looking up for the Senators, who have trended into stronger form coming out of yet another lengthy layoff this month. They have a 4-2-1 record since an embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Toronto and a 53.7 xGF% in that span.
However, based off of current form, Ottawa has played one team in above-average form of any sort in Pittsburgh. Otherwise, the Sens have played Buffalo twice, Columbus, Edmonton and Washington, whose play has dropped off.
In a trend I have seen a lot this month, that improved play against weaker competition seems to have people believing the Senators have turned more of a corner than they likely have. I’m not sure the results will be drastically better over a larger sample compared to what we saw to start the season.
Also, the Senators took a massive blow in Tuesday’s contest when Batherson was injured in a controversial collision with Aaron Dell. Batherson had clearly been the team’s MVP this season with 34 points in 31 games, and his absence creates a big hole on the team’s right side for a group that has already only produced at a 12th-ranked rate this year.
Matt Murray has found considerably better form of late, with a 941 save percentage between the pipes over his last four contests. On the season, that puts him at .904 with a -1.0 GSAx rating altogether this season in 11 starts. He should get the nod here.
Hurricanes vs. Senators Pick
Although Ottawa has proven to be somewhat of a giant killer this season, that’s over a small sample size. With no true causation, it’s something we shouldn’t expect to continue over the long haul.
The Hurricanes offer one of the most well-rounded teams in the NHL, with a very deep offensive unit which has produced five goals per game over their last five games. I think we can expect them to own far more of the play in this one and produce a strong offensive output.
As I mentioned before, Batherson’s loss is crucial for the Sens, even in a sport where the loss of one player usually does not move the needle as much as people believe.
Carolina should be able to come in and comfortably find two important points here, which are necessary to help claim what I believe will ultimately be its division crown this season, barring a wealth of injuries.
I don’t hate that the Canes blew a 3-1 lead late to Vegas last time out, as I think with that fresh in their minds. We should see them keep the gas pedal down in the third period here, which makes me think a puck-line cover is a touch more likely.
Pick: Carolina Hurricanes -1.5 +100 (play to -125)