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The Boston Bruins travel down south to Carolina to play the Hurricanes in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Ben Rajavuori shares his best bet for the game tonight.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins Best Bet: Can the Bruins Pull the Upset in Game 1?

Hurricanes vs. Bruins Start Time and Where to Watch

Date: Monday, May 2

Game Time: 7:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPN

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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins Prediction

The NHL playoffs are finally here, and we have four great matchups for tonight. The first game of the night, starting at 7:00 p.m. CT, will be the Boston Bruins hitting the road to kick off the first round against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes went 54-20-8 this season and come into the series as the one-seed out of the Metropolitan division. They face the first wild card team, the Bruins, who went 51-26-5 this season. Can the Hurricanes start the playoffs on the right foot? Or will the Bruins upset the Canes in game one on the road?

The biggest storyline in this game is the loss of Frederik Anderson for the Canes. The starting goalie was absolutely dominant this year and was acquired from the Leafs in the offseason. In 52 games this season, he went 35-14-3 with a .922 save percentage and 2.17 goals allowed per game. This season, the Bruins played three games against the Canes and lost all three while only scoring one combined goal across all three. Guess who started all three in net for the Canes? Anderson. Starting in his place will be Antti Raanta, who is good, but he's a backup for a reason. Raanta is no Anderson, and while he had good numbers during the regular season, the playoffs are a different beast. Anderson has lots of valuable playoff experience that will be missed by the Canes for a good part of the series.

The Canes' defense will do their best to keep the shots low on Raanta. The Canes are first in shots allowed on defense with 28.7 allowed per game, but the Bruins are second overall in shots forced per game at 36.1. The Bruins know the backup will be in net and they surely know Raanta doesn't have much playoff experience. Raanta has appeared in five total playoff games in his career, and his teams are 0-5 in those games. Only one was an official start, and in that game, he allowed three goals on 19 shots for a .842 save percentage. Boston's primary goal will be putting up a high volume of shots to get to Raanta quickly, as the Canes are more of a defensive-minded team than offensive.

The Bruins have excelled in 5-on-5 this year. They have dominated the blue line, and as a result, they are first overall in expected goals allowed in regulation. Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk have propelled this dominant defense. They also come into this game with good momentum. They won six of their last eight games, and starter Linus Ullmark won nine of his previous ten starts while posting a .942 save percentage.

The Bruins are historically a tough matchup in the playoffs. They have momentum coming into the series, better overall players, and a favorable goalie matchup with Anderson out for likely the entire series. The Canes obviously have the home advantage here, and the last line change as a result, but the Bruins have more playoff experience with this squad and should continue their 5-on-5 dominance to a game one win as short underdogs tonight.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins Best Bet

Pick: Bruins ML @ +100 (Bet $100 to win $100)

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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