NHL Playoffs Game 4 Odds, Pick & Preview: Hurricanes vs. Bruins (May 8)
Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jeremy Swayman.
- The Hurricanes and Bruins are set to face off in Game 4 of their NHL playoff series.
- Carolina took the first two games, but Boston found its rhythm in Game 3.
- Carol Schram shares her best bet below.
Hurricanes vs. Bruins Odds
|Time||12:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After earning their first win of the 2022 playoffs on Friday, the Boston Bruins will be looking to level their series with the Carolina Hurricanes in a Sunday matinee at TD Garden.
The Canes held serve on home ice for the first two games, leading Boston to make a switch in net before picking up the 4-2 win in Game 3.
Here’s the latest on what lies ahead on Sunday, including your best bet for the game.
The Hurricanes are a terrific defensive team. The allowed the fewest goals during the 2021-22 regular season and gave up just three goals over the first three games against the Bruins.
However, Boston’s top scorers found their form in Game 3 and got the win by beating Pyoter Kochetkov for four goals on 28 shots.
Thrust into action after injuries to both Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta, Kochetkov has -0.5 goals saved above expected so far and coach Rod Brind’Amour called his play ‘solid.’ Raanta was knocked out of Game 2 following a collision with David Pastrnak. Raanta served as the backup on Friday and skated Saturday, so he could be an option for Game 4.
The Hurricanes also lost forward Jordan Martinook to an ankle injury on Friday, which leaves the door open for veteran Derek Stepan or big Steven Lorentz to draw in for the first time in the series.
While the Hurricanes are known as analytics darlings, their underlying numbers indicate they’ve been extraordinarily lucky early in this series. PDO is a metric that combines shooting percentage and save percentage at 5-on-5. 1.00 is considered average. The higher the number goes, the more lucky a team has been and the greater the likelihood they’re in for a regression at some point.
Carolina’s PDO numbers have been off the charts so far in this series — 1.177 in Game 1, 1.076 in Game 2 and 1.052 in Game 3. That cumulative PDO of 1.106 though the first three games is by far the highest of any team in the playoffs: Toronto is second at 1.059.
Considering that Boston holds the edge in the series in key defensive metrics like Corsi for percentage, expected goals and high-danger chances, it’s certainly possible that the Canes’ luck could start to run out.
Carolina is also losing the special teams battle. The top regular-season penalty kill in the NHL has given up three goals on 10 times shorthanded over the past two games, while the power play is just 2-for-17 in the series.
The Bruins had a tough time against the Hurricanes during the regular season as they were shut out twice and outscored 16-1 over three games. That can weigh heavily on a team’s confidence as a playoff series begins.
But the Bruins have been doing the work. After three games, they hold the upper hand in nearly every statistical category. The only exceptions are face-off percentage (48.1%) and, of course, final scores.
Analytics can show trends, but can’t show when teams will be able to reap the rewards of their edge in possession. Will the Bruins luck improve Sunday?
The home team can be heartened by the fact that Jeremy Swayman gave them improved goaltending in Game 3. He gave up just two goals and was at -0.3 goals saved above expected after Linus Ullmark was at -2.3 over the first two games. The Bruins can also be encouraged by the fact that they’ve been able to score on Carolina’s nearly air-tight penalty kill. Boston will also enjoy the boost they’ve received from their hometown fans, who have grown to expect meaningful playoff runs since Boston hasn’t lost a first-round series since 2017.
Defenseman Hampus Lindholm was injured on a hard hit in Game 2 and didn’t play Friday. While he is reportedly feeling better, he has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.
Hurricanes vs. Bruins Pick
Though the Bruins still trail in the series, the oddsmakers at BetMGM have them pegged at -130 on the moneyline for Game 4. That translates to a 56.52% chance of winning — and the series data supports that position.
Of course, one lights-out goaltending performance can change everything and there’s a chance that Raanta will return on Sunday. But now that Bruins have their confidence back, and with Swayman up to the task in the Boston net, look for the home side to even the series in Game 4.
Pick: Bruins moneyline (-130); play down to -145