The Carolina Hurricanes pretty much owned the New York Rangers in the regular season, but the playoffs are a whole different beast.
New York comes into this game on a three-game win streak, rallying from down 3-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Carolina, meanwhile, was a perfect 4-0 on home ice in Round 1 and it’s hoping to keep it that way.
See who has the betting edge for Rangers vs. Hurricanes on Wednesday, May 18, with our NHL picks and predictions.
Rangers vs Hurricanes Game 1 odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Rangers opened up as +140 road underdogs and the line has moved slightly to +145. The total opened at 5.5 and hasn’t had any movement either.
Rangers vs Hurricanes Game 1 predictions
Predictions made on 5/18/2022 at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Rangers vs Hurricanes Game 1 info
• Location: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
• Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
• Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Rangers vs Hurricanes series odds
Rangers vs Hurricanes Game 1 betting preview
Rangers: Barclay Goodrow F (Out), Sammy Blais F (Out).
Hurricanes: Jordan Martinook F (Questionable), Frederik Andersen G (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Rangers vs Hurricanes head-to-head record
Rangers: 1-3-0 SU, 10 goals for.
Hurricanes: 3-1-0 SU, 14 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these two teams in Carolina. Find more NHL betting trends for Rangers vs. Hurricanes.
Rangers vs Hurricanes Game 1 picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Hurricanes were one of the best teams in the entire NHL on home ice this season, skating to a 29-8-4 record at PNC Arena and they are off to a perfect start in the playoffs as they have won all four games at home.
The Rangers weren’t a bad team on the road by any means as they went 25-14-2, but playing a road game in Carolina will be something this young group has yet to experience. That being said, it seems as though their top guys have found their game.
The Rangers have five players that averaged at least one point per game in the first round. Mika Zibanejad caught fire toward the end of the first round, as he only had four assists in the first five games but had three goals and four assists in Games 6 and 7 combined. Chris Kreider remained hot, as he tallied five goals and two assists in the first seven games of the playoffs, Adam Fox notched three goals and seven assists, Andrew Copp was producing consistently with four goals and three assists and then last, but not least, Artemi Panarin, the Game 7 hero, had three goals and four assists.
The Rangers needed their best players to be their best players and let’s not forget Igor Shesterkin’s stellar Game 7 performance, stopping 39 of 42 shots for a .929 save percentage.
The Hurricanes had four players that were averaging a point per game, but what’s interesting is that their top two scorers were both defenseman, Tony DeAngelo and Jacob Slavin. The Canes were averaging 3.43 goals per game, but they are going to need more consistent production from their offensively gifted players.
The Rangers’ key guys have gotten hot, and this team has won three in a row. I think they can carry that momentum into Game 1 and steal the first game of this series.
Prediction: Rangers moneyline (+145 at DraftKings)
I think the x-factor in this series will be Hurricanes goalie Antti Raanta. It is unclear when their starter Frederik Andersen will be making his return and if Carolina is going to win this series, it needs Raanta to play up to par with Shesterkin.
After the first round, Raanta has better numbers than Shesterkin as he is skating to a .927 save percentage and a 2.37 GAA, while Shesterkin is currently at a .910 save percentage and a 3.66 GAA. Shesterkin ranked seventh among goalies with a 3.3 goals saved above expectation and Raanta was 12th with a 0.7 GSAx.
The Canes were one of the better defensive teams in the first round, only giving up 2.86 goals per game and allowing 10.14 high-danger chances against. The Rangers were not very sound in their defensive end, but this series is a fresh start and they were a great defensive team all season long. There is no reason why they can’t get back to that.
Prediction: Under 5.5 (-105 at DraftKings)
Game 1s are always a feeling-out process, especially in the opening period when neither team wants to make any mistakes. The first 20 minutes of a series is where the tone is set and I think both of these goalies will be there to shut the door early on.
The Rangers know that they can be much better in their D-zone and Shesterkin had started to find his game during the end of the first round.
Carolina has been so good defensively on home ice that the Rangers might struggle to generate offense in the first period, considering they will have to weather the storm of the Hurricanes who will come out buzzing.
I don’t see much offense happening in the opening frame.
Pick: First period Under 1.5 (-110 at DraftKings)
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