We always knew these best-of-5 qualifying series would be quick sprints, and as a result we could see our first eliminating from the bubble on Tuesday afternoon.
Game 3 between Carolina and the Rangers sees the favoured Hurricanes entering with a commanding 2-0 series lead. They’ve been the better team in every aspect, and even without star defenseman Dougie Hamilton, the Canes have had little trouble either generating chances or keeping the Rangers limited.
For New York, they’re still a solid young group, with heavy potential. However through the first 120 minutes of this series, they’ve been loose defensively, and their stars are getting completely stifled in all three zones against the Canes’ solid defensive players. It also hasn’t helped that the Rags are without their preferred starting goalie in young stud, Igor Shesterkin. Veteran Henrik Lundqvist has filled the void, and has been mediocre through two games.
As of now, it seems as if Shesterkin will continue to be unavailable in a back-to-back situation for New York.
With their backs against the wall, and firmly on the brink of elimination, can a skilled Rangers squad fend off the Hurricanes? For that answer, and our betting preview and analysis, continue reading on beneath the odds. It’s the Rangers vs. Hurricanes in Game 3, and elimination games often bring the most excitement. Enjoy!
New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Odds:
Over 5.5 (+100)
Under 5.5 (-120)
*Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick:
Through the first two games of this series, it’s been clear that the Canes are a better, and more mature group. Their game right now is well suited for the tighter post-season, and they have done incredibly well to assert their will and structure on a skilled New York side.
Their top line of Andrei Svehcnikov and Sebastian Aho simply cannot be matched by any of New York’s forward lines or defensive pairings, and with the latter coming off of a game in which he scored a hat-trick, the young stars of Carolina are really finding their groove.
In an elimination game, look for a desperate Rangers squad to push the pace. Nobody wants to go home this early, especially after interrupting your summer to be trapped in a bubble north of the border for a week. Look for New York head coach to really lean on the likes of Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin, with hopes of getting a key one in the win column.
Through 120 minutes, these games have had a lot of scoring chances – though goals have lagged behind. Both of these teams are known for pushing the pace and adopting a high-event style of play, though both matches have fallen just short of going over.
In an elimination game, with New York desperate to prolong the series, expect them to take more chances. Look for them to commit more players forward, and if they are down one or two goals late – to pull the goalie earlier in the game. Even if New York does turn from Lundqvist to Shesterkin, you have to wonder what kind of game-shape/condition the young netminder is in after sitting out most hockey-related activities over the past couple of weeks.
Expect an exciting and back-and-forth affair as the elimination style should bring out the best in the young Rangers. Ultimately while I think Carolina will do enough to close out New York in three straight, the better value remains on the Over 5.5 goals sitting at plus-money. The style of these teams, combined with the fact that it is an elimination game, should produce more opportunities for goals. Enjoy the game!
Pick: Carolina 5-3