NHL Bets Tonight: Expert NHL Picks and Props for Hurricanes vs Rangers

NHL Bets Tonight: Expert NHL Picks and Props for Hurricanes vs Rangers

This article is part of our NHL Picks series.

NHL Expert Picks for March 21: Free NHL Bets and Player Props for Hurricanes vs. Rangers

The Carolina Hurricanes (45-15-8) travel to meet the New York Rangers (41-19-10) in the front end of a home-and-home set on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, with the puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

The Hurricanes currently sit atop the Metropolitan Division with 98 points, one point clear of the second-place New Jersey Devils with two games in hand. The Canes are also six points clear of the third-place Rangers, also with two games in hand.

While that sounds good for Carolina, it has struggled with the Blueshirts, not only this season but in recent seasons and the playoffs, as well.

Carolina was embarrassed 6-2 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. in the most recent meeting on Feb. 11. While it wasn't all bad, with Carolina actually holding a 2-1 lead midway through the second period, the Rangers scored five unanswered goals to close out the game, including four by Artemi Panarin. In that game, Frederik Andersen made just 13 saves on 18 shots in a disappointing showing.

The teams also met Jan. 3 at Madison Square Garden, with the Rangers taking a 5-3 decision as the Over cashed in that outing, too. The "Bread Man", Panarin, also scored in that game, while Pyotr Kochetkov was on the short end in the crease for the Canes.

MSG has been a House of Horrors for the Hurricanes over the years, as Carolina is just 4-22 in the past 26 trips to Manhattan, while going 15-38 in the previous 53 meetings overall. The home side is 7-2 in the past nine in the series, with the favorite cashing at an 11-5 clip in the past 16 meetings.

Andersen (18-7-0, 2.47 GAA, .902 SV%, 1 SO) is projected to start for the Canes, while Igor Shesterkin (32-11-7, 2.57 GAAm .912 SV%, 2 SO) is expected to get the nod for the Rangers. Shesty stopped 20 of the 23 shots he faced in that 5-3 win in early January at MSG.

Carolina is going to want to do one of two things. It either needs to figure out a way to beat the Rangers, or it needs to figure out a way to win the Metropolitan Division for a second straight season, leaving the Devils and Rangers to duke it out for second and third place, and a first-round playoff series to beat on each other.

But first things first, we need a pick on this game, and there is just no reason to go any other way than backing the Rangers, at least until the Hurricanes prove they can start topping New York on a regular basis.

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NHL Money Line Bets for Hurricanes vs. Rangers

  • Rangers ML (-110 at Caesars)

The Hurricanes re-discovered its offense, really in just the nick of time, last time out in Philadelphia. With 0.3 seconds left in regulation, Martin Necas scored a power-play goal with an extra attacker, forcing overtime. Sebastian Aho scored his third and final goal in overtime, winning it just 28 seconds into the extra session.

Carolina has 12 goals over the past three games, but that follows up back-to-back shutouts against playoff contenders New Jersey and Vegas. It is still just averaging 2.2 goals per game (GPG) across the past six games overall.

For New York, it bounced the Nashville Predators 7-0 last time out on Sunday behind Jaroslav Halak, while Shesterkin blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-0 on Saturday in the front-end of the back-to-back set.

The Rangers have scored four or more goals in four straight outings, while lighting the lamp three or more goals in nine of the past 12 outings, with two or more goals in each of the games.

The Over has hit in four straight in the series, while going 4-1 in the past five road games for the Canes, and 7-3 in the past 10 for the Blueshirts at MSG. There is some contrary trend info which also can support the Under, too. I'd advise going lightly, leaning high, but go a half-unit at best. The better play is New York on the ML.

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NHL Totals Bets for Hurricanes vs. Rangers

  • Over 5.5 (-128 at FanDuel)

NHL Player Props for Hurricanes vs. Rangers

For this Metropolitan Division battle, we have a couple of tremendous player prop options.

New York's Jacob Trouba, who is Public Enemy No. 1 in Raleigh for Caniacs, as fans in North Carolina look back unfavorable on what they feel were cheap shots in last season's playoff series.

All of that aside, Trouba is a blocked shot lover. In fact, he leads the Eastern Conference with 176 blocked shots through 70 games. He has no issue stepping in front of shots and sacrificing his body, love him or hate him.

As such, playing the Over on blocked shots in a high-intensity game is a good bet, especially at plus-money.

As mentioned above, Artemi Panarin has scored five goals in two games against the Hurricanes this season. He had a four-goal game in Raleigh, and it's super hard to understand how the Over on 2.5 shots on goal (SOG) is actually plus-money. 

While yes, he has just seven total SOG in the past five games, he has eight SOG in the first two games against the Canes. Hit this one, and hit it hard. Panarin loves facing Carolina tending.

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Daniel Dobish
Hockey writer, unskilled fourth liner, fantasy and gambling industry veteran, handicapper, FSWA's 2011 fantasy hockey writer of the year nominee and four-time FSWA award winner. Twitter: @danieledobish
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