After two exciting games on Thursday night that saw the surprising Florida Panthers take a 2-0 series lead against Toronto and the Dallas Stars equalize their series with Seattle, there’s only one game on the Friday night slate. The Carolina Hurricanes will look to stay hot at home and take a 2-0 series lead against the New Jersey Devils.
Carolina won 5-1 in Wednesday’s series opener, and New Jersey will undoubtedly bounce back on Friday. But will it be enough?
Check out NHL betting lines, betting analysis, plus a free pick for the Game 2 of the East Second Round of the NHL Playoffs.
Game 2 of Eastern 2nd Round NHL Playoff Betting: New Jersey vs. Carolina | MyBookie Hockey Betting Preview
East 2nd Round – Game 2, CAR leads series 1-0
NHL Odds: Devils +1.5 -270, Hurricanes -1.5 +212 / Devils -103, Hurricanes -118 / O/U 5.5
When: Friday, May 5, 8:00 pm ET
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
TV / Streaming: TNT
Devils Looked Lost in Game One
After their Game Seven win over the New York Rangers, the Devils looked to have circled the wagons for a deep playoff run. But in Game One against Carolina, New Jersey was driving the struggle bus.
The New Jersey Devils mustered just one shot on goal through the first period and a meager 18 for the game. Carolina’s defense is as stingy as they come, having allowed a league-low 26.0 shots per game in the regular season and is at 27.4 per game in the playoffs. Finding a way to generate chances is paramount to New Jersey’s chances of leveling the series.
The goaltending situation is another question mark after Game One, as Akira Schmid was removed from the game for Vitek Vanecek. While that may have been something of a mercy pull to send a message to the rest of the Devils’ roster, keep an eye on who is the first goaltender off the ice in the Friday’s pregame skate.
Carolina Can Take Commanding 2-0 Series Lead
The Carolina Hurricanes have been darn near unbeatable at home over the last several postseasons. They are 10-2 over the last two years and are averaging 3.33 goals per game in that span (while allowing 1.83).
Part of their success has come from the strong play of Frederik Andersen between the pipes. Andersen had a 1.11 GSAx in Game One in all situations. Andersen has played just two games this postseason but already ranks sixth in GSAx among all playoff netminders.
But it wasn’t just the play in net; in fact, it was defensemen Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei stepping up in the play that helped drive the offensive attack for the Canes. When Carolina sustains offensive pressure from the blue line, there is so much more open ice for their forwards to attack. Four Hurricanes defensemen scored at least 25 points this season, led by Brent Burns with 61.
Through the 2020 playoffs, team who held a 2-0 series lead had a record of 330-51 record of winning the series.
Making the Pick
Seeing how well Carolina has played at home, and the degree to which they were in control in Game One, it’s a bit surprising to see the Hurricanes at -115 on the moneyline (New Jersey is at -105). Getting such a strong home team at nearly even money is too good a value to pass up.
We anticipate a lower-scoring game this time around and are expecting a 3-2 win for Carolina.
NHL Playoff Pick: Carolina | Bet Devils vs Hurricanes Today
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