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New Jersey Devils vs. Carolina Hurricanes Eastern Conference Semifinals Game Two Betting Preview

The Carolina Hurricanes surged to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in Game One of the Eastern Conference semifinals Wednesday.

Seth Jarvis’ third goal of the playoffs held up as the game-winner, Jordan Staal and Jordan Martinook each bagged a pair of assists, and Frederik Andersen was relatively untested between the pipes, stopping 17 of 18 shots against.

How will New Jersey respond in Game Two? Let’s dig into the numbers and find out.

Game Info

Puck Drop: 8:00 PM ET
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
Moneyline Odds: NJD -105 CAR -115
Puck Line Odds: NJD +1.5 goals (-265) CAR -1.5 goals (+225)

New Jersey Devils Notes

One of the biggest question marks surrounding the Devils is whether Timo Meier will be healthy and back in the lineup. Meier was injured on a violent open ice hit from the Rangers’ Jacob Trouba in Game Seven of the first round and did not return to the game, though Meier and Trouba shook hands in the line at the end of the series.

Meier has been a revelation since arriving in New Jersey, scoring nine goals and 14 points in 21 games. His 12.5% shooting percentage with the Devils in the regular season marked a career-best, though he was held without a point in the opening round.

The rest of New Jersey’s lineup is healthy and should be good to go.

Another point of concern is who New Jersey turns to in net. When Vitek Vanecek struggled against the Rangers, the Devils turned to Akira Schmid, who was stellar in closing out the series. However, after allowing three goals on 11 shots in Game Two, Schmid was benched for Vanecek to close things out.

That move may have been to send a message to the rest of the lineup, as New Jersey tallied just one shot on goal in the first period. The Devils have averaged 28.0 shots per game, the lowest of any remaining playoff team and the second-lowest of anyone in the first round.

Carolina Hurricanes Notes

For a team missing star scorers in Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen, and Max Pacioretty, and a team that had five days between games, Carolina certainly looked more rested than rusted in Game One.

Arguably the biggest factor was getting offensive production from the blue line, as both Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei were each able to score a goal.

Carolina is at their best when their defensemen are involved in the attacking zone; four defensemen tallied at least 25 points in the regular season, led by Brent Burns with 61 (23 of which were on the power play, second most of any Carolina skater).

The Hurricanes also hold an advantage in net with the steadying presence of Frederik Andersen. The 33-year-old has more playoff wins (29) than Schmid and Vanecek have combined playoff appearances (13).

The Pick Is In

The Hurricanes are 10-2 at home over the last two postseasons, and the raucous fans make PNC Arena one of the most difficult places to play. With odds at -115 on the moneyline at home, there’s solid value on that pick.

We think Carolina takes a 2-0 series lead before returning to New Jersey, though a closer game tonight is in the cards.

Score Prediction: Carolina Hurricanes 3, New Jersey Devils 2

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