NHL Playoffs Game 4 Odds, Preview, Prediction: Hurricanes vs. Rangers (May 24)
Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Teuvo Teravainen (86) of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Hurricanes vs. Rangers Game 4 Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
The first three games of the best-of-seven series between the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers have featured a total of nine goals. That said, one of those contests did not look like the other.
For the first two games of the series, the Rangers and Hurricanes both seemed totally content with playing a defensive style of hockey and betting on themselves to come out ahead in a chess match. Carolina ended up collecting both victories, which put the pressure on the Blueshirts to find their way into the series in Game 3.
Can the Rangers make it back-to-back wins at home in Game 4? Let’s take a look at both squads and find out.
Rangers Need to Take More Risks to Even the Series
With their backs against the wall and playing in front of their home crowd, the Rangers started to play a looser style of hockey in Game 3, which allowed the game to breathe much more than it did in the two games in Raleigh.
While that is a dangerous game to play against the Hurricanes, who finished second in the NHL in high-danger scoring chances created at 5-on-5 during the regular season, the Rangers really had no choice.
They couldn’t turn another game into a coin flip and hope that they caught the break. You can get away with that style in Games 1 and 2 when you’re trying to steal a win on the road, but when you are trailing in a series and playing at home, you have to try and win the game, rather than play not to lose.
With the Rangers playing a more swashbuckling style and the Hurricanes gladly obliging, both goaltenders were considerably more busy on Sunday than they were in Games 1 and 2. That is no issue for the Rangers, who will always need Igor Shesterkin to be the difference if they are going to continue to win games.
Can the Hurricanes Expose New York’s Weakness?
Shesterkin standing on his head and winning the special teams battle is how the Blueshirts have made up for some suspect play at 5-on-5 all season and it paid off again in Game 3, as the Rangers halved Carolina’s series lead to 2-1 despite getting outshot, 44-33, and getting doubled-up in terms of high-danger scoring chances (17-8) at 5-on-5.
Having the ice tilted towards your net like that at even strength isn’t a sustainable way to win games for most teams, but the Rangers have proven they don’t mind ceding control of the puck at 5-on-5 and waiting for their opportunities.
While that can work during the regular season or against a heavily depleted Penguins team in Round 1, the Hurricanes are a different beast and it does look like Carolina has found its form after a slow start to this series.
Through 10 games of postseason play, the Rangers are 5-5 with a -2 goal differential and have a 40.04% expected goals rate at 5-on-5. At some point, those numbers will catch up to them, even with Shesterkin in form.
It’s worth noting that there were plenty of extracurriculars after Game 3 involving Max Domi, Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Lindgren, Ryan Reaves and even Rangers’ head coach Gerard Gallant. A lot of times when that kind of chicanery transpires, the media will build up the hype for the following contest.
That puts the referees on high alert and could lead to some early whistles to make sure things stay on script. Over-eager officiating means more special teams, which means more scoring opportunities and chances to cash the over.
I’ll play a parlay in Game 4 with the Canes’ moneyline and the over.
The Bet: Hurricanes Moneyline / Over 5.5 Goals same-game parlay (+280)