We return today after going 1-1 on Monday’s slate. Below we’ll analyze Game 2 of a Central Division rivalry which got off to an entertaining and competitive start and promises to bring much more of the same tonight.
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Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
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Tampa Bay Lightning (-105) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (-110)
The first game of this series was as advertised as both teams played with a feverish pace and physicality. Tampa Bay ended up victorious after a late goal by Barclay Goodrow slid between the post and Carolina goalie Alex Nedeljkovic – one he will surely want back.
The Hurricanes largely dominated the first half of this game until taking a penalty that Brayden Point would ultimately capitalize on after scoring on the power play.
The ‘Canes would be advised to stay out of the box in this series as the Bolts’ power play is converting at a 39.1% clip thus far in the postseason.
Nedeljkovic may have let in a softie but played a solid game otherwise. However, it was his counterpart in the opposing crease that stole the show. Andrei Vasilevskiy was incredible for the Lightning making 37 saves on 38 shots while leading his team to a 2-1 victory.
Both teams had similar advanced metrics in the regular season – nearly identical in xGF%, CF%, and GF/60. We certainly should keep this in mind, but I prefer to judge the postseason game-by-game.
So, let’s dig deeper and analyze the metrics 5v5 from Game 1 below:
Number’s courtesy of Natural Stat Trick
CF%:63 (CAR) 47.37% (TB)
HDCF%:15 (CAR) 53.85 (TB)
xGF:78 (CAR) 1.75 (TB)
xGF%:52 (CAR) 49.48 (TB)
Statistically, this game was as close as it gets. Carolina held a slight advantage in possession and expected goals percentage, but the differences were negligible.
I anticipate this Hurricanes team to come out with the same jump as they did in the first game and play desperate, as they know going down 2-0 to the Lightning is a backbreaker.
Picks: Carolina Hurricanes (-110)
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