NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Predators vs. Hurricanes (February 18)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Sebastian Aho.
- The Hurricanes host the Predators as home favorites on Friday night.
- The Predators have lost three straight, but are they worth backing to break out of their slump at plus-money?
- NHL betting analyst Jonny Lazarus breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Predators vs. Hurricanes Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
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The Carolina Hurricanes faced a very tough defeat on Wednesday night when they allowed a goal in the final minute and then lost in overtime on home ice against the Florida Panthers.
The Nashville Predators have lost their last three games in a row and got completely dominated in their most recent contest on Tuesday night, losing to the Washington Capitals 4-1 on home ice.
Which team will bounce back with a win on Friday?
Nashville Predators Hoping to End Three-Game Skid
The Nashville Predators have had a strong season after starting off relatively slow. Nashville is 28-17-4 on the season and currently in fourth place in the Central Division.
The offensive production has not come very easy during this three-game span. The Preds have only scored six goals in their last three contests, and their big guns have been relatively quiet. Nashville relies on scoring from their first line with Filip Forsberg, Matt Duchene and Mikael Granlund.
These three have had a strong season, but the leading scorer for the Preds is their captain and defenseman, Roman Josi. Josi led the team in scoring last year, which was one of the concerns going into this season because it is never a good sign when a defenseman leads a team in scoring.
The Preds currently rank 14th offensively as they are scoring 3.04 goals per game, which is slightly outperforming their 3.01 Expected Goals For per 60 minutes. These two teams met earlier in the season, Nashville’s second game of the season, and the Preds were only able to score two goals against Carolina on 40 shots.
Goaltending has been Nashville’s biggest strength this season thanks to the play of Juuse Saros who is 24-14-3 with a .924 Save Percentage and the NHL’s fourth-best +18.0 Goals Saved Above Expected. Saros didn’t have his best game on Tuesday against Washington as he allowed three goals on 27 shots.
Saros should get the nod in this matchup.
Carolina Hurricanes Need a Strong Bounce Back Performance
The Carolina Hurricanes were less than a minute away from picking up a huge win against the Florida Panthers before falling in overtime. The Hurricanes were completely outplayed, getting outshot 31-18 and lost the expected goals battle 2.81-2.2.
Carolina has been one of the best teams in the league all season long. They are currently in second place in the Metropolitan Division with a 32-11-4 record.
The Hurricanes have been productive offensively, currently ranking sixth as they are scoring 3.45 goals per game. Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov have led the way for the Canes. Aho has 21 goals and 28 assists in 44 games and Svechnikov has 20 goals and 24 assists in 44 games as well.
Carolina plays such a sound defensive game under head coach, Rod Brind’Amour. They are the best defensive team in the NHL, only allowing 2.38 goals per game and holding their opponents to 28.5 shots on net. To put the cherry on top, their goaltender Freddie Anderson has been incredible. Anderson is expected to start, and he is 25-7-2 with a .928 Save Percentage and the NHL’s second-best +24.9 GSAx.
Predators vs. Hurricanes Pick
This game features two of the top five goalies in the league this season. Freddie Anderson and Juuse Saros are both making a case for the Vezina Trophy.
Carolina’s defense has set them apart from other teams in the league while Nashville’s offense can’t seem to figure it out right now.
The Hurricanes should come out buzzing in response to their tough loss on Wednesday night, and I don’t think Nashville will be able to match their intensity. I love the value on Carolina to win in regulation at even money as they should get the job done.
Pick: Carolina Hurricanes to Win in Regulation +100