Nashville Predators at Carolina Hurricanes

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After a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory for the Carolina Hurricanes, the Nashville Predators hope they can even score as they face the Hurricanes once again on Thursday night. The Predators have been struggling this entire season with only 11 wins in their first 26 games while the Hurricanes look like one of the Stanley Cup favorites with 18 wins in their first 25 games. With both teams matching up evenly against each other in the first game, the upcoming game should not disappoint.

Predators offense has struggled this season

The Nashville Predators have been a disappointment this season, to say the least with one of the worst records in the Central Division. The main struggle this season has been the offense and the inability to find goal-scoring, with the team only scoring 2.3 goals per game. Aside from Filip Forsberg, who has 10 goals on the season, the Predators have nobody on the team with more than 6 goals.

In addition to the offense struggling, the defense has underachieved as well, allowing 3.2 goals per game, and a unit that usually leads the team is becoming a liability. Roman Josi was the Norris Trophy winner last season but has been ineffective this season defensively, and likewise, Ryan Ellis has been struggling to stop offenses from getting past him. The Predators have also seen their goaltending duo of Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros struggle this season with the two combining to allow 3 goals per game.

Hurricanes offense fuels streak

The Hurricanes have won the last 6 games to give them the second-best record in the Central Division. The offense has been particularly great during the streak scoring 4 goals or more in 4 of the 6 victories. While Vincent Trocheck has been great all season, leading the team with 13 goals, Sebastian Aho has burst onto the scene in the recent games to have 10 goals on the season and 14 assists. With 4 players having 10 goals or more this season, the Hurricanes have an offense that is scoring 3.3 goals per game.

While the offense has been firing in the recent games, the defense has gotten the job done all season, with two great pairings. Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin lead the top pairing with 3.4 defensive point shares and 63 blocked shots while Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei have combined for 2.8 defensive point shares. In addition, James Reimer has been a force in the net as the starting goaltender, stopping .903 percent of shots and also allowing only 2.8 goals per game.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

The Predators forced the Hurricanes to overtime in the first game but that can be seen as an exception and not the rule. The Hurricanes should be able to pile on the goals in this game against a struggling defense with their depth offensively, whether it be the surging Sebastian Aho or Vincent Trocheck. Likewise, the Predators have struggled to find the back of the net this season and the Hurricanes will force someone else to beat them aside from Filip Forsberg. Expect the Hurricanes to respond to the overtime game with a resounding victory where they win and cover the spread.

Hurricanes -1.5 (+115)

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Full-Game Total Pick

The Predators are led by their defense and have struggled to put the puck in the back of the net with their offense, making one think that this game is going to be low-scoring like the first one. However, the Hurricanes’ offense is deep with goal scorers and should be able to run up the score. The Hurricanes offense is going to constantly find the back of the net against a defense that has the talent but has struggled this season. Likewise, the Hurricanes defense is great but the Predators should able to score at least once in this game with Forsberg breaking through or Roman Josi creating from the point. Expect the Over to cover with the Hurricanes particularly piling on the goals.

Over 5.5