Islanders vs Hurricanes Odds, Prediction | Game 1 NHL Preview

Islanders vs Hurricanes Odds, Prediction | Game 1 NHL Preview article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Seth Jarvis of the Carolina Panthers and Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders

Islanders vs. Hurricanes Odds

Saturday, April 20
5 p.m. ET
Islanders Odds+205
Hurricanes Odds-250
Over / Under
+105o / -125u
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Islanders vs Hurricanes Game 1 on Saturday, April 20 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

For the second straight season the Hurricanes will meet the Islanders in the first round. Carolina bested New York in six games last year in a series that featured an average of 5.16 goals per game, and four games decided by one goal.

Islanders vs Hurricanes odds for Game 1 have the Hurricanes listed as -250 favorites on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 5.5. For my Islanders vs Hurricanes picks, I'm targeting the first period over/under and two shots on goal (SOG) player props for Seth Jarvis and Jake Guentzel.

Let's dive into my Game 1 NHL preview and Islanders vs Hurricanes prediction.

New York Islanders

The Islanders have taken steps forward since Patrick Roy's arrival in late January, and will look to prove a lot of doubters wrong as heavy +325 underdogs in this series.

They have gone 20-12-5 over Roy's entire tenure, but have shown particularly improved play since the start of March, going 14-7-2. In that span, they have generated 3.09 goals for per game while allowing only 2.70 goals against per game. They own a 51.06% expected goal share in that period.

They looked more like the Barry Trotz' Islanders teams at times down the stretch, grinding out close, low-scoring wins over teams such as the Predators and Rangers. That type of game is how they will look to succeed in this series versus a Carolina team boasting far superior offensive depth.

Roy has worked to make adjustments to prevent sustained spells of play in the defensive zone, including triggering more aggressively on puck carriers and less passive coverage. Still, his personnel is limited in its ability to manage the puck effectively amid heavy opposition forechecks — and that will be a flaw the Hurricanes look to expose.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau is listed as day-to-day, and will likely be replaced if he can't go in this matchup. The Islanders will otherwise ice the same roster we saw down the stretch.

It's also very interesting to see that Semyon Varlamov is confirmed as the Islanders starting goaltender for this matchup. Varlamov outperformed Ilya Sorokin this season, with a +9.4 GSAx and .918 save percentage across 28 appearances.

Carolina Hurricanes

It's been a fairly common theme in recent years for teams to finally break through with a Cup win only after several close calls as true contenders. The Hurricanes will hope to be the next team to fit that narrative in 2023-24, as they enter the playoffs as odds on Cup favorites at +650.

In the Rod Brind'Amour era, the Hurricanes have been to the conference final twice, and been considered a true contender season after season. It's entirely possible this year's iteration is the best of any of those teams.

Jake Guentzel has fit tremendously with Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis since the trade deadline. They own over 80% of the actual goals scored in their 181.7 minutes together at even strength, and have an expected goal share of 65%.

Since Guentzel's Hurricanes debut, Carolina has posted a record of 13-3-1. Its power play has clicked 29.4% of the time, and it has scored 3.65 goals per game. Suddenly the Hurricanes look like a team with some significant offensive punch, compared to previous seasons when they hit a wall offensively when the games tightened up.

Andrei Svechnikov, Martin Nečas and Teuvo Teräväinen provide quality scoring threats to the second and third lines. Both of those units have also done very well to limit opposing chances against, which is par for the course of the Hurricanes as a team.

Frederik Andersen will likely get the start in goal Saturday. He has played to a +12.2 GSAx and .932 save percentage in 16 appearances this season.

Islanders vs. Hurricanes

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Hurricanes are the more well-rounded team and should own the vast majority of the play. The Islanders have proven to be a more competent bunch defensively though, and should offer a well-structured game plan looking to limit chances coming Varlamov's way.

There is enough volatility with this game to pass on Carolina at -230, but I do believe we will see the Hurricanes generate a ton of zone time and medium quality chances.

My expectation for this series is that we see something close to last year where the Hurricanes get an honest scare, but find their way past in six games.

Aho, Guentzel and Jarvis have been dominating all competition since being united. That trend should continue in this series, and on home ice Brind'Amour should be able to use last chance to cherry pick some favorable matchups for that trio. Jarvis is priced around +140 to record over 2.5 shots on goal, while Guentzel is priced around +150 to record four shots. I recommend laying a half-unit on both.

FanDuel technically has the best prices of the larger sportsbooks, as Jarvis is at +154 for three, while Guentzel is at +162 for four. Those are 60-minute lines however, which means you give up the chance to win the bet on shots coming in overtime. From my estimation, those prices are still on par with the best numbers available elsewhere given the longer number.

Playoff hockey does tighten up significantly, and sportsbooks are fully aware of that fact considering seven of the eight series have a game one total of 5.5. Still, this series looks like one that could potentially trend towards totals of just 5 as it wears along.

We should expect both teams to feel their way into it, looking to limit mistakes. You can bet the first period to go Under 1.5 at -115 (Bet365), and I see value at anything better than -120.


  • Seth Jarvis Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (+154 via FanDuel | Play 60-min to +149)
  • Jake Guentzel Over 3.5 Shots on Goal (-162 via FanDuel)
  • First Period Under 1.5 (-115 via Bet365 | Play to -120)

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