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The New York Islanders head to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes in a heavyweight Metropolitan Division matchup. NHL Expert, Matt O'Leary shares his picks.
ANALYSIS

Islanders vs Hurricanes Picks: Expect The Defense To Shine

It’s opening week for the NHL and tonight we’re treated to a Metropolitan Division matchup between two heavyweight favorites. The New York Islanders are fresh off yet another deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs after taking Tampa Bay to seven games before bowing out in the Semi-Final.

As for Carolina, they were one of the best teams in the league last year as they finished with a 36-12-8 record during the regular season. Both teams have incredibly high expectations for the season so we should be treated to a good one tonight. Here are three plays that I like from tonight’s action.

Islanders vs Hurricanes Betting Odds

Under 5.5 Goals -113

Goals will likely be very hard to come by in this one. Both teams were top-four in the league in goals allowed last year, the Islanders second and Hurricanes fourth, and both teams rely on their strong defensive unit.

The Islanders shutdown top-pair of Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock is elite at containing high powered offenses and both were treated to a new contract extension in the offseason. When on the ice together, the pair has a 64.6 HDCF% meaning that they are significantly more likely for the Islanders to have high danger chances when the duo is out there vs the other team having dangerous chances.

Carolina lost Dougie Hamilton in free agency but his defense partner Jacob Slavin is one of the best in the league at shutdown defense. His goals for percentage was up at 59.2% which is a career-high for him. The moral of the story, these teams don’t like to let in goals. The chances of one of these teams getting to 3+ goals is slim let alone both.

Kyle Palmieri Anytime Goal Scorer +280

Looking at the anytime goal scorer market I really like the value of Kyle Palmieri here. He will be replacing Jordan Eberle on the Islanders' top line, so expect him to be stapled to Mat Barzal’s wing tonight.

Barzal is one of the better playmakers in the game so expect Palmieri and left winger Anders Lee to see a ton of opportunities tonight. The value at +280 was too good to pass up, and it’s likely sitting there due to a down goal scoring year for Kyle Palmieri in 2021 with just 10 goals in 51 games.

The three years prior, he netted 25, 27, and 24 goals. 2021 was an outlier for him and if you anticipate him getting back to his scoring ways this year, here’s a good value play for you tonight.

Islanders Moneyline +120

Getting the Islanders on the moneyline at that value was another one that’s too good to pass up. Both of these teams are really good and pretty evenly matched but the one place the Islanders will have a clear advantage tonight is in net.

Ilya Sorokin will get the start in place of the injured Semyon Varlamov and the youngster Sorokin was fantastic last year. He had a .918 save percentage and an insanely low goals against average of 2.17. When he came in relief in the playoffs, he finished with a .922 save percentage in seven appearances.

The Hurricanes will likely run out Fredrick Anderson who they acquired from Toronto. He’s been downright bad the last two years as he’s sporting a .905 save percentage and 2.89 goals against average over that time.

Can he turn it around with a better defensive team in front of him? Possibly, but I like him to give up a soft goal to be the difference tonight.

Islanders vs Hurricanes Picks

Under 5.5 Goals -113

Kyle Palmieri Anytime Goal Scorer +280

Islanders Moneyline +120

Article Author

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OddsChecker sports writer Matt O'Leary brings experience sports betting advice to the OC staff. You may recognize Matt from his popular New York Jets youtube channel, but his vast knowledge of sports and betting goes well past the boundaries of New York.

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