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The Rangers and Hurricanes were each pushed to a Game 7 in the first round of the 2022 NHL Playoffs, but both teams prevailed and will meet in the second round. New York showed great mental toughness in their 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Penguins, while the Hurricanes were dominant on home ice by winning all four of those games in the first round against the Bruins. They are familiar foes and had several hard-fought games towards the end of the season, and the odds for their second-round matchup are now available.
New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes series odds
The New York Rangers enter their second-round matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes as the underdogs, and their odds of winning the series are +165 at BetMGM Sportsbook. The Hurricanes are -200 to win the series, and anyone backing Carolina to make it to the Eastern Conference semifinals would have to wager $ 20 to earn $ 10 of profit. Let’s see how our experts are breaking this playoff matchup down.
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New York Rangers: Strengths and weaknesses
The Rangers are a balanced, complete team that utilizes their skating talent to the fullest in front of their world-class goaltending. New York made a big splash at the deadline by acquiring Andrew Copp from the Winnipeg Jets, who made an immediate impact. They are widely regarded as one of the best defensive teams but do not lack in the offensive skating department either.
New York finished the regular season with five skaters either above or close to an average of one point per game. Chris Kreider finished the season with 52 goals (3rd in NHL) and was heavily assisted by Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox, who had 74 and 63 assists, respectively. Those values were the fourth and tenth-best in the NHL, demonstrating just how potent that trio has been. In addition to their strong trio, longtime Ranger Mika Zibanejad contributed 81 points in 81 games and Copp had 18 points in 16 games after he was acquired. As good as their attack was, it would be a disservice to New York not to mention their world-class goaltender, Igor Shesterkin.
Shesterkin finished the season with a .935 save percentage, the best in the league, and was nearly a -4000 favorite to win the Vezina trophy for the best goalie. He was even named a Hart Trophy finalist for the league MVP, which rarely happens for goaltenders. Shesterkin posted the second-best goaltending mark in the league (2.49 goals per game), and the only team that posted a better average was the Carolina Hurricanes.
Carolina Hurricanes: Best defense in the NHL
Carolina stormed through the regular season with a combination of speed, stick skills, and all-star defenseman. Carolina’s defense was led by goaltender Frederik Andersen, who has been injured throughout the postseason thus far. However, they have not missed a beat in his absence.
One thing that assisted Carolina’s goaltending and was significantly better than the Rangers was their shot-blocking. While New York was close behind in goals allowed per game, they were far behind in shots allowed per game. Carolina allowed 28.2 shots per game (1st in NHL), which helped lead them to allow just 2.44 goals per game (1st in NHL). Backup goaltender Antti Raanta played in 28 games in the regular season and has carried over his success in Andersen’s absence. He ended the first round with a .927 save percentage and allowed just 12 goals in seven games. Even with their strong defense, the Canes have a slew of talent on offense.
The trio of Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen, combined for 89 goals and 215 points this season. One unique thing about the Hurricanes is that they use Svechnikov to run the point on their power play unit. This is significant as it allows them to keep all of their primary wingers on the ice, which leads to very efficient shot taking. Tony DeAngelo is one of the best defenders in the NHL, and due to his shot blocking ability, it’s no surprise the Hurricanes ended the season with a penalty kill of 88% (1st in the NHL).
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New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes series prediction: Hurricanes (-200)
This series could end up being a full seven games, and there is very little separating the two teams. New York and Carolina are the two best defensive teams in the league, and each game will likely come down to the third period. Breaking down each matchup, there is very little between the Rangers and Hurricanes, which is why we predict that the difference will lie in home ice advantage.
It is hard to ignore how dominant Carolina was at home in the first round, as they outscored the Bruins 18-6 in the games that were in front of their home fans. Three of their four wins were by multiple goals and we predict that they will jump on the Rangers early. New York lost their first two games at Pittsburgh, and although Shesterkin was a brick wall in the regular season, he was pulled multiple times against the Penguins. The -200 odds are a steep price for this matchup, but we predict that the Hurricanes will jump out to an early 2-0 lead against the Rangers as their home fans help them reach the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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