NHL FREE PICKS
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NHL Picks: May 30
Tonight, we get to see our first and only game seven of the second round as the New York Rangers visit the Carolina Hurricanes in a one-game, winner takes all. The Hurricanes will attempt to move on to the Eastern Conference Final for a matchup with the Lightning, the team that beat them in five games in last year’s conference semi-final. The Rangers, on the other hand, are looking to become the first team to beat the Hurricanes in Raleigh in these playoffs.
Five of the six games in this series have been under 5.5 goals, and all of the games in Raleigh have seen 4 or less goals. The Rangers have scored only 2 goals through 3 games when on the road in this series. This dominant home-ice advantage for the Hurricanes goes back to their first-round matchup against Boston where they didn’t allow more than 2 goals in any of the 4 home games. The Hurricanes have an astonishingly low GAA of 1.29 in home games these playoffs. While goaltending has been good, overall team defence and the style of play that Rod Brind’Amour expects of his players has led to these phenomenal numbers on home ice.
The Hurricanes were unable to shut down the Rangers in game 6, and in doing so, gave them life. Given the lack of success that the Hurricanes have had on the road in these playoffs, it wasn’t too much of a surprise that the Hurricanes were unable to close out the series. It was the first time we’ve seen over 5 goals in a game throughout this series, as the Rangers beat the Canes 5-2. While this could be seen as some momentum to build upon for game 7, it also just gives the Hurricanes another reason to shut them down.
The goaltenders have been fairly well matched in this series, however probable Vezina winner Igor Shesterkin does have the edge over Antti Raanta. The Hurricanes praise team defence and this gets the best out of whoever is playing in net, while the Rangers just expect Shesterkin to bail them out on multiple occasions throughout the game. It’s no shock that throughout the playoffs Shesterkin has a GSAx of 9.9 whereas Raanta has a respectable 2.8. In any case, both teams don’t allow that many goals. The Hurricanes and Rangers were 1 and 2 in Goals Against in the regular season, leaving game 6 as quite the outlier in an otherwise low-scoring series.
The Hurricanes are 7-0 at home in these playoffs and 0-6 on the road. With the way that Carolina has played in front of their home fans these playoffs, and with Brind’Amour having the last change, the odds are in their favour to take game 7. It’s hard to bet against the success that they’ve had at home these playoffs, I’m taking them to advance to the Conference Final for a shot at redemption against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Pick: Hurricanes – Money Line -139 (Coolbet)
Other notable bets:
Rangers/Hurricanes under 5 +122 (Coolbet): With the low scoring that we’ve seen throughout this series, and with the fact that the Hurricanes haven’t allowed more than 2 goals in a game on home ice in these playoffs, the under has good value for this game.
Rangers @ Hurricanes: ML Regulation Time – Tie +305 (theScore Bet): Low event and low scoring has been the story of this series. With how evenly these two teams have played, it would be fitting to see the series end the same way it started, with overtime.
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