Nashville Predators at Carolina Hurricanes

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Nashville snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday. Although Nashville squandered a 3-0 lead in the third period, the Predators were able to pull out the victory in a shootout, with Roman Josi scoring the last goal in the shootout with a backhander. Nashville is 11-14-0 with 22 points and sits in 6th place in the Central division. The Predators are three points behind their closest competitor Columbus and 14 points behind division-leading Tampa Bay.

Carolina is one of the hottest teams in the NHL at present as the Hurricanes have won each of their last five games and climbed to within one point of first place Tampa Bay in the Central Division. Carolina is 17-6-1 with 35 points. The Hurricanes defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Sunday for their fifth consecutive win. Vincent Trocheck scored a goal for Carolina against his former team and Sebastian Aho scored a goal and added an assist. The Hurricanes have a strong blue line and goaltending unit that is allowing an average of 2.67 goals per game.

Nashville needs help in the attack Zone

The Nashville Predators are in sixth place in the Central Division and one of the biggest reasons for that is a lack of goal scoring. Nashville is scoring an average of only 2.27 goals-per-game. The Predators have lost three of their last four and have not scored over four goals in any of those four games while averaging 2.50 goals per game during that stretch. The leading goal scorer this season for Nashville is Filip Forsberg with 10 and the next closest goal scorer is Calle Jarnkrok with six. Forsberg is also the leader in assists with 16 and Roman Josi has 14. Therefore, Forsberg is the overall points leader with 26 and Josi is second with 16. The Nashville power play has scored only 17 goals and is scoring an average of 20.0% of the time with the man advantage.

Nashville also suffers from a below-par blue line and goaltending unit that is allowing an average of 3.15 goals per game. Pekka Rinne is 6-9-0 with a 2.93 goals-against average and .902 save percentage, while Juuse Saros is 5-5-0 with a 3.10 goals-against average and .895 save percentage. The penalty kill unit for Nashville is holding up opponents scoreless 70.2% of the time while shorthanded.

Injury Report: Matt Duchene, Ryan Ellis and Luke Kunin are all out until early April, while Juuse Saros and Luca Sbisa are both out indefinitely

Carolina goaltending and blue line coming up big

The Carolina Hurricanes have won each of their last five games and over that span have allowed three goals once and two goals in each of the other four games. Overall, the Hurricanes are allowing an average of 2.67 goals per game. James Reimer had taken over for the injured Petr Mrazek as the No. 1 goalie for Carolina and is 11-3-0 with a 2.83 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. Backup Alex Nedelikjovic is 4-2-1 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .927 save percentage, with one shutout. The penalty kill unit for Carolina has been strong as the Hurricanes are keeping opponents scoreless 81.2% of the time while shorthanded.

It is not all about defense for Carolina as the Hurricanes in the attack zone are playing very well and are averaging 3.38 goals per game this season. The power play unit has also played above average scoring 29.5% of the time with the man advantage and Carolina has scored 23 power play goals led by Vincent Trocheck with six. Trocheck is the leading goal scorer for Carolina overall with 13 and Nino Niederreiter has scored 11. The assists leader for Carolina is Dougie Hamilton with 16, while Martin Necas has 14 assists. The overall points leaders are Trochek and Sebastian Aho with 22 each.

Injury Report: Petr Mrazek is out indefinitely with a thumb injury

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Carolina is one of hockey’s hottest teams as the Hurricanes have won each of the last five. Carolina is using a strong attack effort that is scoring an average of 3.38 goals per game with excellent play at the blue line and in front of net that is allowing an average of only 2.67 goals-per-game.  Nashville is suffering from the exact opposite, as the Predators are allowing an average of 3.15 goals per game and are scoring only 2.27 goals per contest. The Hurricanes have dominated this head-to-head series winning six of the last eight on their home ice against Nashville and nine of the last 10 overall against the Predators.

Prediction:
Carolina Hurricanes -1.5

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Carolina scores an average of 3.38 goals per game and Nashville has an average of 3.15 goals per game and if you add those numbers up the totals finish over more often than under. The total has finished over in each of Nashville’s last four games, each of the Predators last four games against a team with a winning record and in three of Carolina’s last five games with one push.

Prediction:
OVER 5.5