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Igor Shesterkin (31) of the New York Rangers blocks a shot from Seth Jarvis (24) of the Carolina Hurricanes, as we offer our Rangers vs. Hurricanes expert picks and predictions for Saturday's Game 4 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.
Igor Shesterkin (31) of the New York Rangers blocks a shot from Seth Jarvis (24) of the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 7, 2024 in New York City. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images via AFP.

The Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers face off in Game 4 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., as we provide our Rangers-Hurricanes prediction based on the best NHL odds.

The Carolina Hurricanes (52-23-7) are staring down their playoff mortality after losing two straight games in overtime to the New York Rangers (55-23-4). Our best sports betting sites still have the Hurricanes as favorites to win Game 4, with puck drop set for tonight at 7 p.m. ET from PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.

After that Game 3 win, the Rangers are the new consensus favorite by the latest Stanley Cup odds. Meanwhile, Carolina is looking to bounce back after losing eight of its last nine games by just one goal.

Accompanying our Panthers vs. Bruins prediction and odds, here's our best Rangers vs. Hurricanes prediction and NHL picks (odds via our best NHL betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Rangers vs. Hurricanes Game 4 expert pick

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Rangers vs. Hurricanes prediction for Saturday

Under 5.5 goals ⭐⭐⭐

Despite being more experienced, better offensively, and far healthier, the Hurricanes face the same daunting and potentially insurmountable scenario as they did in 2023. They're down 0-3 after losing three straight one-goal games, and the last two in overtime.

The team's inability to win one-goal contests in the playoffs can no longer be passed off as unlucky or a fleeting trend. 

Hurricane strength downgraded in one-goal games

The Hurricanes have lost eight of the last nine one-goal playoff games, including all four against the Florida Panthers in during the 2023 Eastern Conference Final. Their only win during the aforementioned dire stretch came against the New York Islanders in the first game of the opening round, a 2-1 triumph. Rod Brind'Amour's team also struggled in one-goal affairs during the regular season while ranking 13th with a 53% winning rate. Compare that to the Rangers, the NHL's best team in nip-and-tuck one-goal outings while winning 74% of the time. 

It's a recipe that often leads to playoff heartbreak. Dominating play and taking more shots than somebody celebrating their 21st birthday doesn't guarantee success, which the Hurricanes have infuriatingly found out in the first three games against the Blueshirts.  

Like the mysterious, curious alternate dimension in Stranger Things, the Hurricanes find themselves perilously trapped in the Upside Down, with Igor Shesterkin, the gatekeeping guardian, preventing their unrelenting attempts to escape. 

Reasons to back Under 5.5 goals

Like the Hurricanes' inability to prevail in one-goal matchups, Shesterkin's playoff dominance is not a trend but a reflection of his unparalleled dominance. The 2021-22 Vezina winner saves his best stuff for the playoffs, which must outrage the Hurricanes almost as much as seeing two empty-net goals ruin your Under 6.5 wager (flashback to Lightning-Panthers Game 5). 

Shesterkin hasn't allowed four goals in 30 straight playoff games. He's only played 35 postseason contests, further enhancing the already ridiculous nature of that stat. The unflappable 28-year-old shows unerring composure, even after Andrei Svechnikov took him out behind the net in Game 1. His 9.2 goals saved above expected ranks second, behind only Jeremy Swayman (12.7). 

However, Shesterkin is quickly catching Swayman thanks to his 4.82 goals saved above expected in three games against the Hurricanes. Shesterkin represents the primary reason to back Under 5.5 goals.  

Additionally, five of the last seven Hurricanes home playoff games went Under 5.5 goals. As Shesterkin's previous 30 games indicate, the Hurricanes cannot allow the Rangers to score three goals if they are to avoid being swept for the second straight postseason. Expect Game 4 to follow the Game 3 script closely. 

While there's always a chance of empty-net goals ruining an Under 5.5 wager, especially in a potential series clincher, the Hurricanes should be able to keep it close enough to prevent Brind'Amour from pulling his netminder with four minutes to play, as Jon Cooper did in Game 5 of the opening round. Don't worry, I have since turned my sour grapes into a palatable red wine. 

Betway offers -115 for Under 5.5 goals, implying a 53.49% probability. A winning $10 bet pays a profit of $8.70.

Best odds: -115 via Betway

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Rangers vs. Hurricanes Game 4 info & odds

  • When: Saturday, May 11
  • Puck drop: 7 p.m. ET
  • Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.
  • How to watch: TNT, Sportsnet
  • Favorite: Hurricanes (-150 via Betway)

Rangers-Hurricanes predictions made Friday at 12 p.m. ET.

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