Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) tries to score whiole Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (39) blocks during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, May 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
- The Tampa Bay Lightning, leading 1-0 in the series, are getting 1.5 goals against Carolina in Game 2 on June 1st in North Carolina
- Lightning won Game 1 by a 2-1 decision on a goal with 7:21 left in regulation
- Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick
The Tampa Bay Lightning are slight -104 moneyline favorites to beat the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of their second round NHL Playoff series, but there is plenty of value in betting the Hurricanes.
Game 1 was evenly played, and Carolina outshot Tampa Bay 38-30. The Hurricanes controlled play early in the game. Don’t forget that the Hurricanes were among the NHL’s most consistent teams this season, finishing ahead of Tampa Bay in the overall standings.
Because the game is being played in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Hurricanes are 1.5-goal favorites in the game. The Hurricanes were 20-3-5 at home in the regular season.
Lightning vs Hurricanes Game 2 Odds
|Team||Moneyline at DraftKings||Spread||Total|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-104||+1.5 (-275)||O 5.5 (-110)|
|Carolina Hurricanes||-113||-1.5 (+220)||U 5.5 (-110)|
Odds as of May 31st
Lightning Own Goalie Advantage
When the Lightning won the Stanley Cup last season, goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy posted a 1.90 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.
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His GAA is up a bit, but this season’s playoff save percentage is .936 after a 37-save performance in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 win against the Hurricanes in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Vasilevskiy is generally considered the world’s best goalie, and he’s going up against Carolina rookie Alex Nedeljkovic. Despite Nedeljkovic’s lack of experience, he’s posted a 2.19 GAA and .923 save percentage in Carolina’s first seven playoff games. But Vasilevskiy’s experience gives the Lightning an advantage in net.
Jon Cooper said Andrei Vasilevskiy “was in the zone” in Game 1. “We really needed him in that 1st period when they were all pumped up.” Said Vasy’s play on the penalty kill was also a big key to the win. #Bolts #TBLvsCAR
— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) May 31, 2021
Lightning vs Hurricanes Series Odds
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-286|
Carolina’s Strength: Defense, Faceoffs, and Penalty Killing
The Hurricanes were one of the 12 NHL teams with a scoring average of better than three goals per game in the regular season. Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, Jordan Staal, and Vincent Trocheck can move the puck around the offensive zone with a high degree of effectiveness.
Jaccob Slavin scores in overtime, and the Hurricanes eliminate the Predators in six games pic.twitter.com/e18L63q9LG
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 28, 2021
But the strength of Carolina is a defense that ranks among the NHL’s best. The Hurricanes blueline corps defends well and moves the puck out of its zone sharply. The Canes also kill penalties very well, registering an efficiency above 86% in the postseason. Plus, Jaccob Slavin is the NHL’s most underrated defenseman.
When you factor in a 53.9% faceoff percentage, you understand why the Canes won the Central Division this season ahead of both Florida and Tampa Bay.
Hurricanes Playing Without Key Forward
Nino Niederreiter doesn’t always get listed among Carolina’s top forwards, but the Hurricanes will feel the pain of his upper-body injury in their series against Tampa Bay. Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour has indicated Niederreiter will likely miss the entire series.
The Swiss right wing enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career, finishing second on Carolina with 20 goals during the 56-game regular season.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay defenseman David Savard (upper body), acquired at the trade deadline, and Erik Cernak (undisclosed) are considered day-to-day
David Savard and Erik Cernak are not on the ice for practice, although Cernak was in a t-shirt and shorts and came out to the ice opening a few minutes before practice started. #Bolts #TBLvsCAR
— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) May 31, 2021
It’s Not Nuts to Think Canes Could Cover
This game is in Carolina with a raucous pre-Covid size crowd guaranteed. The Hurricanes played well in Game 1. They are 15-12 against the spread at home this season, and the Lightning are 9-19 ATS on the road this season. This season, the Hurricanes were 4-3-1 against the Lightning.
As a result, the potential +220 payoff is enticing, especially given that the Hurricanes are going to play like this is a must-win game. They can’t allow themselves to fall behind 2-0 in a series against the defending Stanley Cup champions. It seems easy to project a 2-1 Carolina lead becoming a 3-1 win with an empty-netter.
Pick: Carolina Hurricanes -1.5 (+220)
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Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.