NHL Playoffs Odds, Picks, Predictions: Hurricanes vs. Bruins Game 6 Preview (Thursday, May 12)

NHL Playoffs Odds, Picks, Predictions: Hurricanes vs. Bruins Game 6 Preview (Thursday, May 12) article feature image

Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ethan Bear.

  • The Boston Bruins looks to avoid elimination Thursday when they face the Carolina Hurricanes in their Game 6 clash.
  • Carolina earned a huge win in Game 5 to take the 3-2 series lead.
  • Grant White breaks down the game below and details why he's backing Carolina to close out Boston.

Hurricanes vs. Bruins Odds

Hurricanes Odds+105
Bruins Odds-125
Over/Under5.5 (-120 / +100)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Boston Bruins are on the brink of elimination in their Eastern Conference playoff series with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes used an assertive 5-1 performance in Game 5 to stake themselves to a 3-2 series lead. Now, they can close things out Thursday against a Bruins squad that has been outplayed in two consecutive games.

The betting odds favor the home side, but I like Carolina as a plus-money underdog in what should be a low-scoring game.

Carolina Hurricanes

Goaltending was a concern for the Hurricanes coming into the postseason. Carolina was without its primary goaltender Frederik Andersen. Similarly, backup Antti Raanta missed time toward the end of the season after getting injured in a game against the New York Islanders.

Nevertheless, Raanta returned to action in time for Game 1 and has been a difference maker for Carolina, helping them to two of their three wins and stopping 94.2% of shots faced.

However, Raanta's job has been made easier by the defensive structure insulating him against the Bruins' attack. Carolina has limited Boston to 21 or fewer scoring chances at 5-on-5 in four consecutive games and five or fewer high-danger opportunities in three of its past four outings. That tidy defensive zone coverage has hampered shots on target, with the Bruins directing 28 shots on net in two of the past three contests.

Carolina deserves some credit for their offensive efforts, recording five goals in three games so far this series. However, their output is inflated relative to their production metrics, an indicator that they could see a decline in scoring over the coming games.

The Hurricanes have  been limited to 24 high-danger opportunities over their past four games combined, cracking double-digits once on home ice and being limited to two quality chances in two of those four games.

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Boston Bruins

The Bruins have flip-flopped between goalies, starting Linus Ullmark in games 1 and 2 before turning to Jeremy Swayman from Game 3 on. Head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed Swayman would be between the pipes for Game 6 on home ice, which is a spot he fared well in for the third and fourth games.

The 23-year-old netminder stopped 92.5% of shots, allowing two goals in each game. Still, those performances were better than what we've seen from Swayman throughout the regular season, stopping just 89.8% of shots at the TD Garden. Any regression toward average puts the Bruins on thin ice.

Part of the concern with goaltending regression is that we haven't seen great things from Boston’s offense so far. The franchise has scored more than one goal at 5-on-5 just once, but doesn't have the production metrics to support increased scoring.

As noted, Boston has been limited offensively, averaging 18.2 scoring and 6.4 high-danger chances per game. Worse, the Bruins have out-chanced the Hurricanes in quality opportunities just once this series and have given up more scoring chances than they've created in two consecutive games.

Those diminished offensive efforts have shifted the expected goals-for ratings away from the Bruins, with the Hurricanes outplaying them in each of the past two games. Personnel decisions hurt Boston in the first two games of the series and now appear out-matched overall.

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Hurricanes vs. Bruins Pick

The Hurricanes should see decreased output over the coming games, but they have the goaltending to prop them up. Raanta has been effective and the Bruins have difficulty figuring him out.

Carolina has turned the tide on Boston over the past couple of games and can force them out of the postseason with a big win away from home.

Pick: Carolina ML (+105) | Total Under 6 Goals (-120)

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