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Islanders vs. Hurricanes, 7:00 ET
Hockey is back and I am ready to try and take on the playoffs. This will be the first time I have ever really attempted the playoffs in any real capacity by myself, so just like the regular season, we will take it one game at a time. Also, I really doubt that I’ll have any series futures, except for maybe the Stanley Cup. For now, one game each day makes more sense to me.
The Islanders come into this game finishing the season averaging almost three goals per game on the dot and also allowing 2.65 goals per game to opponents. They had a solid season but struggled against the Hurricanes this year. Over the three games that the two teams played, Carolina was able to win three of them from New York. The only game that the Islanders won was the first matchup, but it did come in Carolina. One other note I found a bit interesting is that after scoring six goals against Carolina in the first matchup between the two of them, they only scored three goals total in the other three games combined. I’m not exactly sure what happened to the offense for New York, but the clamps were clearly put down on the Islanders and they couldn’t figure out Carolina in those last three games against each other.
The big story to me here is that the Hurricanes kind of slumped their way to the finish line. Sure, they won their last two games, but prior to that they lost three straight. In fact over their last 11 games, they are just 5-6. They haven’t played all that well and that means that the Islanders could be in for a chance to steal a game here. I would assume that the Hurricanes are going to start Frederik Andersen in goal. They have two great choices though and could start Antti Raanta. Andersen faced the Islanders in three of the games and allowed eight of the nine goals in the games they played. He was in net for the one loss that the Hurricanes had against New York as well. Raanta did not face the Islanders at all this year, but I think he might give Carolina a better chance to win this game.
I like the under 6.5 in this one. Carolina has shown they can be dominant on the defensive end and I think the only way the Islanders can win this game is by keeping the crowd from getting in the game and holding Carolina off of the scoreboard. If they can step up their defense and keep it a low scoring game, I think they have the better chance, so I like the under 6.5 in this game.
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