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Hurricanes vs. Islanders, 7:00 ET
We are on a hot streak right now and have started the NHL playoffs with four consecutive wins. They were all on totals and we hit yet another one yesterday. I won’t say it wasn’t a sweat, because it was, but after giving up two goals in the first period to the Kraken, the Avalanche scored three over the next two periods and that was all of the scoring to keep the game under 6.5. Today, though, I’m switching it up and taking a side.
The Hurricanes are leading this series after taking care of business at home and winning the first two games. It wasn’t quite a dominant effort, but they were able to do what they needed and got the win. In game one, the Hurricanes took it with a 2-1 victory. This was a defensive battle and I think that plays in favor of Carolina virtually every time. I could argue that they have one of the best defenses in the playoffs. In Game 1 that was certainly showcased and goalie Antti Raanta was great saving 25 of 26 attempts. In Game 2 the Islanders figured the Hurricanes out a bit. Raanta once again faced 26 shots, but he allowed three goals this time.
In order for the Islanders to take this game they will need to step up both offensively and defensively. They were able to turn in a good defensive effort in Game 1 and only allowed two goals to the Hurricanes. However, in Game 2, the Islanders allowed four goals. While their offensive effort improved, their defensive effort floundered. Their stud, Brock Nelson was able to get on the board in the last game and I am hopeful that he will be able to capitalize on that momentum from this one. Their goalie, Ilya Sorokin, has had to face way too many shots in both games. He was spectacular in the first game stopping all but two goals on the 37 attempts, but he faced 36 shots in the second game and four goals found the back of the net.
What a difference the home ice can make. Carolina is one of the better teams on the road, but New York should be rocking tonight as the Islanders look to put the first effort into getting back into the series. I’m taking the Islanders here tonight, they played well in Carolina and now have the crowd behind them. Back the Islanders to win at -120.
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