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What a weekend it was. Not only did we get to watch a ton of hockey, but we made some quality coin off it as well. How can you beat that?
The best part: We keep going. Another batch of games Monday means more opportunities to make money. Let's stay hot.
The Rangers can be an extremely fun team to watch, but this is a bad matchup for them. The Hurricanes' roster is a deep one, while New York's is anything but. Carolina exposed that lack of depth in Game 1, and it's shaping up to be a glaring problem in Game 2 with Brendan Lemieux still suspended and Jesper Fast now injured. The latter development is a tough blow for an already shallow group of forwards.
The Canes are not only a very deep and talented team, but they're so fundamentally sound under head coach Rod Brind'Amour. They play suffocating defensive hockey and are relentless on the attack, with all four forward lines capable of contributing offensively.
Carolina's home-team designation will allow Brind'Amour to pick his matchups, so the Hurricanes should be able to take advantage of the depth discrepancy. That was glaringly apparent Saturday, with the Rangers posting the lowest even-strength expected goals for mark (1.01) among all teams in Game 1 of their respective play-in series. Carolina will assert itself once again in Game 2 and push New York to the brink of elimination.
Pick: Hurricanes (-150)
As well as Carey Price played Saturday, it's a disservice to the Canadiens to suggest he was the only reason they won. Montreal was very much in the contest aside from a poor showing in the first period, and it fully deserved Jeff Petry's game-winning goal based on the balance of play in overtime.
The Canadiens were aggressive when they needed to be and clinical in pouncing on the Penguins' mistakes. Matt Murray was predictably a scapegoat, but was he really at fault for any of the three goals he surrendered? Those playing in front of him seemed more responsible.
Most concerning for Pittsburgh was the performance of its bottom six. The Penguins' third line was especially exposed, as was their third defensive pairing. The Canadiens lack star power, but they're deep enough to take advantage of the mismatches presented to them. They could have scored a couple more goals Saturday and should continue to generate chances in Game 2.
It's the Penguins who will now be expected to produce more offensively. They fired a lot of shots on net in the series opener, but they didn't do enough to get in Price's grill. When they did, they scored - both of their goals came from a few feet out. Expect much more of that from Pittsburgh in Game 2, along with a better showing from a power play that has far too much talent to struggle as it did.
Pick: Over 5.5 (+105)
(Odds source: theScore Bet)
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.