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Jordan Staal hits Mika Zibanejad in Game 1 as we make our expert predictions for Game 2 of the second-round playoff series between the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes.
Jordan Staal hits Mika Zibanejad in Game 1 of the second round of the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 05, 2024 in New York City. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP via AFP

The New York Rangers would love nothing more than to go back to Carolina two games up on the Carolina Hurricanes as they get set for Game 2 on Tuesday from the Big Apple, and we're offering our Hurricanes-Rangers predictions based on the best NHL odds

The New York Rangers (55-23-4) are on a seven-game winning streak that dates back to the end of the regular season. Talk about heating up at the right time. The impressive run has made them strong contenders to advance to the Eastern Conference Final, as indicated by our best sports betting sites.

On the other hand, the Carolina Hurricanes (52-23-7), after the 4-3 Game 1 loss, have dropped from their lead position as favorites in the Stanley Cup odds for the first time in the 2023-24 playoffs. 

The Hurricanes' performance in the first period of Game 1 was reminiscent of a scene from a Stephen King novel - a mix of the bizarre, unsettling, and chaotic. They conceded two penalties, leading to Rangers goals, and allowed three goals in the opening period for the fifth time in their last 88 games.

Game 2 is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN) at Madison Square Garden in New York.

To accompany our Avalanche vs. Stars prediction, here are our best Hurricanes vs. Rangers predictions and NHL picks (odds via our best NHL betting sites; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Hurricanes vs. Rangers Game 1 expert picks

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Hurricanes vs. Rangers predictions for Tuesday

Under 5.5 goals ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I'm going back to the Under in Game 2 after seeing it crumble in Game 1. I've been struggling to lift my jaw from the ground after witnessing the outrageous four-goal first-period outburst in Game 1. But I'm hoping it returns to its original position after Game 2, which should also follow the more normal and expected defensive script. Rest assured, the Hurricanes will think twice before taking penalties after the Rangers went 2-for-2 with the man advantage in the opener. 

After the four-goal first-period explosion, two of the league's best defensive teams combined for three goals. That was more of what I was expecting from the opening puck drop.

Frederik Andersen allowed more than three goals for just the second time in 16 starts since returning from an injury, so expect the Hurricanes to be immeasurably better in their own end and far more disciplined in the opening 20 minutes.

At -115, FanDuel offers the best value and will pay a profit of $8.70 on a winning $10 bet. The implied probability is 53.49%. 

Best odds: -115 at FanDuel

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Mika Zibanejad Over 0.5 assists ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Let's ride Mika Zibanejad's assist streak until the wheels fly into the stands. At least the protective netting will be there to prevent any injury when that happens.

Zibanejad scored three points in the opening 20 minutes during Game 1, one of which was a helper. He's registered at least one apple in 11 straight games and is playing at a level reminiscent of the 2021-22 playoffs, when the Rangers ousted the Hurricanes and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final.  

The veteran leads the Rangers with 10 points in five playoff games. The Swede's white-hot streak will end eventually. Let's just hope that doesn't happen in Game 5.

Of our best sports betting apps, DraftKings offers supreme value. At -110, you'll receive a $9.09 profit on a winning $10 wager. The -110 odds imply a winning probability of 52.38%. 

Best odds: -110 via DraftKings

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Hurricanes ML ⭐⭐⭐

I expect the Hurricanes to transform from a grossly hungover Clark Kent to Superman in Game 2. Head coach Rod Brind'Amour expects unerring excellence from his contingent, who won't make the same hare-brained blunders they did in the opening period of the series. Carolina was much better as the game progressed, but the team left itself too much to overcome. It hasn't lost back-to-back games since late February, and the Hurricanes have won 18 of their previous 26 outings. 

Admittedly, the Rangers as a collective are almost as hot as Zibanejad. However, their seven-game winning streak must end at some point, and probably sooner than later considering the usually elite level of their Metropolitan Division foes.

FanDuel offers the best value, and it's marginally better than the -120 offered at BetMGM, Caesars, and bet365. A winning $10 bet pays a profit of $8.47 and comes with an implied probability of 54.13%. 

Best odds: -118 via FanDuel

Hurricanes vs. Rangers Game 2 info & odds

  • When: Tuesday, May 7
  • Puck drop: 7 p.m. ET
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
  • How to watch: Sportsnet, ESPN
  • Favorite: Hurricanes (-118 via FanDuel)

Hurricanes-Rangers predictions made Monday at 1 p.m. ET.

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