NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs Hurricanes (Saturday, March 2)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs Hurricanes (Saturday, March 2) article feature image

(Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images). Sebastian Aho #20 and Jaccob Slavin #74 celebrate with goaltender Spencer Martin #41.

Jets vs. Hurricanes Odds

Saturday, March 2
12:30 p.m. ET
NHL Network
Jets Odds+125
Hurricanes Odds-150
Over / Under
-105 / -115
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Winnipeg Jets vs. Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, March 2 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

Two of the stingiest teams in the NHL will kick off a 13-game NHL slate Saturday when the Winnipeg Jets hit the midpoint of a three-game road trip with their only visit of the year to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Winnipeg saw a four-game winning streak snapped Thursday in a 4-1 loss in Dallas. Meanwhile, Carolina is home from a successful 2-0-1 road trip and has been getting great efforts between the pipes from both of its goalkeepers.

With Connor Hellebuyck at the top of his game as well, it should be a low-scoring affair between two tough competitors. Look for the home side to come out on top and send the Caniacs home happy.

Here's my Jets vs. Hurricanes prediction and picks for today's early NHL game (12:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network).

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets are keeping pace with the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche at the top of the tight Central Division but failed to capitalize on their opportunity to take over first place when they fell to the Stars on Thursday.

That was just their second loss in their last nine games. But other than Dallas, Winnipeg has played just one other playoff team during that stretch, so take that recent record with a small grain of salt.

With Hellebuyck now leading all goalies by a wide margin with a whopping 31.3 goals saved above expected, he's now the front-runner for the Vezina Trophy. With Winnipeg going into a back-to-back set, Hellebuyck is expected to face the Hurricanes on Saturday while Laurent Brossoit will get the start in Buffalo on Sunday.

The Jets are a good puck-possession team, ranked 10th in expected goals share at 5-on-5 at 51.42%. But beyond their league-leading 2.38 goals allowed per game, most of their other season-long team stats rank in the bottom half of the league: 19th in goals per game (3.05) and 22nd on both the power play (18.4%) and the penalty kill (77.8%).

Special teams have been trending in a positive direction lately, though. The Jets' lone goal against Dallas on Thursday came on their only man advantage, and they're 9-for-19 over the past six games. Shorthanded, they've gone 6-for-7 over the last three.

New trade acquisition Sean Monahan returned earlier in the week after missing one game with illness, and he has been a nice addition, with six goals in his first 10 games for Winnipeg.

Carolina Hurricanes

With a 7-2-1 record over their last 10 games, the Hurricanes have solidified their hold on second place in the Metropolitan Division. They're nine points ahead of the third-place Philadelphia Flyers and five back of the red-hot New York Rangers.

A popular pre-season Cup pick, Carolina is looking the part these days, ranked second in expected goals at 5-on-5 at 55.93% and finally steady in goal with the emergence of February's rookie of the month, Pyotr Kochetkov. The goalie in eight of the Hurricanes' 12 games in February, Kochetkov went 5-3-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average, .940 save percentage and two shutouts.

Spencer Martin got the win in Carolina's last game Thursday against Columbus, and the team is now heading into a soft part of the schedule. So Kochetkov should get the nod Saturday.

Carolina's success in February has been all about defense. The club allowed more than two goals in just three of its last 12 games — and never more than four. They tout the league's third-best penalty kill (84.2%) and fourth-best power play (27.0%), and score a decent 3.27 goals per game. But their special teams have been a little soft lately, going 3-for-17 on the power play over the last 10 games.

Other than goalies Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta, who both remain sidelined, the Hurricanes are also healthy.

(Hockey fans: Check out the latest developments on the launch of North Carolina sports betting, which is set for March 11.)

Jets vs. Hurricanes

Betting Pick & Prediction

With the high caliber of goaltending expected for this game, it's not surprising to see that the total quickly moved from 6 to 5.5 after the betting markets opened Friday. And when these two teams played in Winnipeg back in early December, they were true to their reputations, with the Jets seizing the 2-1 home win in a Brossoit vs. Raanta matchup.

But that was during Carolina's darkest stretch of the season. The Hurricanes have picked up their game considerably since then and understandably opened as -135 favorites.

Even with the formidable Hellebuyck on the other side, expect the Hurricanes to prevail in a low-scoring matinee contest. They've won seven of their last 10 home games, and six of those wins have come within 60 minutes. Look for a similar outcome Saturday.

Pick: Hurricanes in regulation (+110 at FanDuel | Play to -110)

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