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NHL · 1 month ago

NHL Playoffs: New Jersey Devils vs. Carolina Hurricanes Game 1 Betting Preview & Picks

Grant White

Game 1 of the second-round matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils goes down on Tuesday night. The Devils needed the full seven against the New York Rangers in the opening round, shutting out their division rivals in Game 7 to earn a berth against the top-seeded Canes.

Likewise, Carolina stole victory from the clutches of defeat, mounting a comeback win in Game 6 against the New York Islanders for a ticket to the second round for the third straight year. These Metropolitan Division foes stood toe-to-toe all season, but the Devils have an analytics advantage.

Devils @ Hurricanes Game Information

  • Location: PNC Arena | Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN

Analytically, New Jersey is the best offensive team in the league. The Devils led the NHL in scoring and high-danger chances, sustaining their solid play in Round 1 of the playoffs. Across their seven-game sample, the second-seeded Devils averaged 26.4 scoring and 13.3 quality opportunities.

Still, output hasn’t caught up to reflect their dominance, with New Jersey scoring just seven goals at five-on-five and posting a 4.5% shooting percentage. They are due for a big offensive breakout, which we anticipate will come in the series opener against the Hurricanes.

Devils @ Hurricanes Odds on FanDuel

  • Spread: Devils +1.5 (-265) | Hurricanes -1.5 (+215)
  • Moneyline: Devils +100 | Hurricanes -120
  • Total: OVER 5.5 (+108) | UNDER 5.5 (-132)

Carolina looked out of sorts against a low-end Islanders squad in Round 1. The Canes gave up at least ten high-danger chances in five of their six contests, out-chancing their wild card opponents just twice. They gave up more scoring opportunities than usual, narrowly out-chancing the Isles throughout the series but still getting outplayed in three of the six matchups.

Consequently, Carolina posted a modest 52.3% expected goals-for rating despite being heavily favored at the outset of the series. 

We’ve seen the same trend in each of the past three postseasons. Perennially, the Hurricanes underachieve in the playoffs, posting a lower expected goals-for rating in the postseason compared to their regular season benchmark.

Since 2020, Carolina’s 53.1% expected goals-for rating in the playoffs is well below their league-leading standard of 56.5%. Clearly, that illustrates Rod Brind’Amour’s inability to adapt his schemes for the postseason, putting the Canes at a disadvantage against a talented Devils squad.

Devils @ Hurricanes Picks

  • Devils +100 | OVER 5.5 +108
  • Nico Hischier Any Time Goal Scorer +250

The Hurricanes managed to contain the inferior Islanders, but they’ll face a stiffer challenge against New Jersey. As noted, the Devils have a relentless attack, churning out more chances than any other team in the league. More impressively, they’ve dictated play irrespective of opponent or venue, setting them up for success early in the second round. 

The Devils have a breadth of scoring depth, with 14 players averaging 3.0 or more on-ice high-danger opportunities in Round 1. Among those is Nico Hischier, who is tied for the second-most points on the team in the playoffs. All five of his points have been assists, making him a natural candidate to have some luck finding the back of the net. 

Hischier ended the regular season with 31 goals and a 12.1% shooting percentage. So far this postseason, the former first-overall selection has yet to score, despite attempting the third-most shots on the team. Additionally, he’s been incredibly efficient at five-on-five, posting a 73.1% high-danger chance rating and 69.1% expected goals-for percentage. Conversely, his shooting percentage has bottomed out, resulting in a 0.956 on-ice PDO

New Jersey’s offense should flourish Wednesday night, and Hischier should lead the charge. We’re backing him as an any-time goal scorer, with the Devils claiming victory in a high-scoring affair.


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