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Rangers vs. Hurricanes Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Another Defensive Struggle In Game 2 Friday? (May 20)

Rangers vs. Hurricanes Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Another Defensive Struggle In Game 2 Friday? (May 20) article feature image
Credit:

Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Igor Shesterkin.

  • The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes are set for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal.
  • There were a total of three goals scored in the Hurricanes Game 1 win, will Game 2 be equally low scoring?
  • NHL betting analyst Nick Martin shares his picks and predictions based on the odds below.

Rangers vs. Hurricanes Odds

Rangers Odds +145
Hurricanes Odds -175
Over/Under 5.5
Time 8 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Carolina will look to claim a 2-0 series lead and move to 5-0 on home ice Friday as they host the Rangers for Game 2 of this Eastern Semifinal.

The Rangers put together a very strong road effort in Game 1, but were ultimately unable to win as Sebastian Aho scored late and Ian Cole came through with the overtime winner for the Hurricanes.

Should we expect a similar effort from the Rangers on Friday?

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New York Rangers

New York‘s effort impressed in Game 1 and I think it would be fair to say that prior to the third period the Hurricanes hadn’t had a chance on net worthy of turning into a goal, especially against Igor Shesterkin.

However, after overtime Carolina owned a 14-12 edge on high danger scoring chances, with a final expected goals score of 3.12 to 3.06 for the Rangers.

That’s on top of the fact that Filip Chytil’s opening goal and his opportunity on a similar one-time play through the middle of the ice moments later credited as just 0.27 expected goals.

Both were exactly the type of defensive breakdowns under quantified in this data, and the type the Rangers did very well to prevent in Game 1.

That’s quite a turnaround compared to the Penguins series when New York often looked out of sorts in its own zone. It will be interesting to see if the Rangers can continue this sharp defensive play.

In the final 14 games of the regular season the Rangers did hold the league’s best goals against per/60 rating at 2.53 and it truly did surprise me to see how many quality looks Pittsburgh was able to generate throughout that series. Although, the Rangers did clean it up a bit as the series wore along.

As expected, Shesterkin’s game has looked much better over the past several outings as the Rangers cleaned up the amount of back-door plays and deflections being offered.

Shesterkin now holds a +4.3 goals saved above expected rating with a .911 save percentage through eight playoff games.

Carolina Hurricanes

Through two periods of Game 1 Rod Brind’Amour’s Carolina team clearly did not play at its highest level and was quite lucky to be within striking distance.

Surely that was the message in the locker room and the Hurricanes came out firing in the third before finally scoring the game-tying goal in the final minutes of regulation.

The Hurricanes were notably sloppy in their own zone and the puck management was poor all over the ice, notably on Tony DeAngelo’s horrible giveaway on the Rangers’ first goal.

The Hurricanes held the fifth best expected goals against per/60 at 2.75 over the back half of the regular season and, very justifiably, have a reputation of being excellent in front of goal under Brind’Amour.

Rangers vs. Hurricanes Pick

If New York can manage to play defensively at close to the level seen in Game 1, I think we should be in for some low-scoring games.

The Rangers held Carolina to very little in the way of true scoring chances in that game and ultimately did take a tough-luck loss. I’m not sure we will see them entirely out chance the Canes in Game 2, but I believe we will see New York give Shesterkin another strong chance to succeed.

Carolina has consistently proven to be one of the league’s best defensive clubs this season and I trust it will play sharper in Game 2.

I think there are solid arguments as to why it’s unlikely either team will manage a big number offensively on Friday. I like a play on the under 5.5 at -105.

Pick: Under 5.5 -105 (Play to -120)

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