NHL Qualifying Round Preview: Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers

While we’re still a ways off from the restart of the NHL season, we do know who will face off in the qualifying round of the playoffs. Those are a best of five series with the winners advancing to the normal field of 16 teams for the start of what most people consider the actual postseason. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at each series in the qualifying round and give our thoughts on the matter, along with the best options when it comes to placing bets on each series. We now take a look at the 6/11 matchup in the Eastern Conference as the Carolina Hurricanes take on the New York Rangers.

#6 Carolina Hurricanes (38-25-5, 81 points) vs. #11 New York Rangers (37-28-5, 79 points)

Head to Head Matchups:

November 7, 2019: New York Rangers 4, Carolina 2

November 27, 2019: New York Rangers 3, Carolina 2

December 27, 2019: New York Rangers 5, Carolina 3

February 21, 2020: New York Rangers 5, Carolina 2

Series Odds According to VegasInsider.com:

Odds to Win the Series: Carolina -136, New York Rangers +112

Odds For Total Games in the Series: 3 Games (+260), 4 Games (+150), 5 Games (+150)

Odds for Actual Series Result: Carolina 3-0 (+500), Carolina 3-1 (+330), Carolina 3-2 (+350), New York Rangers 3-0 (+700), New York Rangers 3-1 (+440), New York Rangers 3-2 (+410)

Team Statistics:

Carolina: 3.19 goals per game for (11th), 2.84 goals per game against (tied for 11th), 22.3% power play percentage (8th), 84% penalty killing (4th)

New York Rangers: 3.33 goals per game for (5th), 3.14 goals per game against (tied for 23rd), 22.9% power play percentage (7th), 77.4% penalty killing (tied for 23rd)

Team Leaders:


Points: Sebastian Aho 66, Goals: Sebastian Aho 38, Assists: Teuvo Teravainen 48

Goalie Wins: Petr Mrazek 21, GAA: James Reimer 2.66, Shutouts: Reimer/Mrazek 3, Save %: Reimer .914

New York Rangers:

Points: Artemi Panarin 95, Goals: Mika Zibanejad 41, Assists: Panarin 63

Goalie Wins: Alexandar Georgiev 17, GAA: Igor Shesterkin 2.52, Shutouts: Georgiev 2, Save %: Shesterkin .932


Carolina may be a team that benefitted from the break that was created by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Hurricanes may not get Brett Pesce back from his injury, they should have Dougie Hamilton back to anchor their blueline. He rang up 14 goals and 26 assists in 47 games before suffering a broken leg that took him out of the All-Star Game. His return will definitely bolster the defense corps and help out Jaccob Slavin while moving Jake Gardiner back down to a second-pairing guy more than likely. Offensively, Carolina is going to have to get more production from their second, third and fourth lines. The Hurricanes need to have secondary scoring to support the Aho/Teravainen/Andrei Svechnikov trio. That means Ryan Dzingel, Martin Necas, Nino Niederreiter and Jordan Staal, among others, need to light the lamp.

Carolina could go with either goaltender in the playoffs. Mrazek played in 40 games in the regular season while Reimer played in 25 contests. Each guy posted three shutouts though Reimer (14-6-2) had a better record than Mrazek (21-16-2) over the course of the year. Mrazek has an edge in playoff experience, starting 21 games in goal to Reimer’s seven. Reimer’s seven starts came in the 2012-13 season when Toronto fell in seven games to Boston and ended with a thud as the Bruins rallied from a 4-1 third-period deficit to win in overtime. He’ll have to show that seven years have dulled that pain.

New York started slow but rode a 9-1-0 stretch over a three-week span in February to push into playoff contention. While the pause, and a 2-4-1 run in their last seven games before it, kept them outside what would have been the normal playoff bubble, they get in here with the expanded field. In addition to that, they draw a favorable matchup in the Hurricanes, a team that the Rangers owned in all four meetings this season. Mika Zibanejad was a force with 41 goals and 34 assists in 57 games for an average of 1.32 points per game. Pairing him with Panarin, who led the team with 95 points. Chris Kreider scored 24 goals before breaking his foot in late February but he expects to be back on the ice when the season restarts, bolstering their offensive weaponry.

The Rangers are going to have to be better in their own end if they want to have much success in the postseason. That means the team may have to decide on one starting goaltender after rotating three guys during the regular season. Georgiev played in 34 games, Lundqvist logged 30 and Shesterkin played in 12 contests this year. The wins were split as Georgiev earned 17 victories while Lundqvist and Shesterkin each finished with 10 in the regular season. Lundqvist has 128 games of postseason experience, which is something that can’t be overlooked, but he is also 38 years old. Shesterkin jumpstarted the team in his 12 game stretch, going 10-2-0 in those outings, which proved critical to the team’s run back into contention. New York is going to have to figure out who to go with in net and ride that guy in order to have success.

Carolina played well enough to be a regular playoff team while the Rangers were on the outside looking in when the regular season was put on pause. The problem for the Hurricanes is the fact that they have been abysmal against the Rangers. New York won all four meetings this season between the teams, three by multiple goals, and they have won 10 of the last 12 meetings. All told, the Rangers have won 41 of the 58 all-time meetings since the Hurricanes came into existence with their departure from Hartford. The Hurricanes have the experience in the postseason recently but they lack the scoring depth or the experience in net to overcome their struggles against the Rangers. New York may have been 11th in the Eastern Conference but they have Carolina’s number and steal an upset in a series that goes the distance.


New York Rangers to Win Series +112

New York Rangers to Win Series in 5 Games +410

Series to Go 5 Games +150

Author Profile
Chris King

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO. If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career. Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.