How Do Opening Round NHL Playoff Qualifying Series Work?
NHL Stanley Cup playoff action includes eight qualifying series split between the Eastern and Western Conferences. These are best-of-five series and winners advance to the quarterfinal round. The higher seed is the designated home team in games 1, 2 and 5, while the lower seed is the home team in games 3 and 4. Toronto is the hub city for the first three Eastern Conference playoff rounds and all games will be played at Scotiabank Arena.
Qualifying series feature playoff overtime rules meaning shootouts are eliminated and games can’t end in a tie. Based on regular season win percentage, Carolina (.596) enters the NHL playoffs as the No. 6 seed and New York (.564) is the No. 11 seed. Slightly surprising, this is the first time these Metropolitan Division rivals will play each other in the postseason.
New York and Carolina open their series by playing three games over four days.
Rangers vs Hurricanes Playoff Schedule
- Game 1 - Saturday, Aug 1: New York @ Carolina 12:00 PM ET
- Game 2 - Monday, Aug 3: New York @ Carolina 12:00 PM ET
- Game 3 - Tuesday, Aug 4: Carolina @ New York 8:00 PM ET
- Game 4 - Thursday, Aug 6: Carolina @ New York Time TBD *
- Game 5 - Saturday, Aug 8: New York @ Carolina Time TBD *
* If Necessary
New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes Preview & Best Bet
Familiar foes meet when Carolina (38-25-5) battles New York (37-28-5) during the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Hurricanes finished fourth in the Metropolitan Division with 81 points and the Rangers were seventh with 79 points. These teams met four times during the regular season and New York swept the season series. The Rangers posted 4-2 and 5-2 victories in Carolina plus 3-2 and 5-3 wins at home.
Carolina is the series favorite and New York is the underdog. Artemi Panarin (95), Mika Zibanejad (75) and Ryan Strome (59) are the top scorers for New York. Henrik Lundqvist (3.16 GAA) is expected to start over Alexandar Georgiev (3.04 GAA) in goal for the Rangers. Sebastian Aho (66), Teuvo Teravainen (63) and Andrei Svechnikov (61) lead Carolina on offense. Petr Mrazek (2.69 GAA) has played well as the Hurricanes top goaltender.
Series Pick: New York Rangers +112
Rangers vs. Hurricanes Qualifying Series Prop Betting Options
Once the playoffs begin, games lines and individual player props will be plentiful. Prior to that, a variety of pre-tournament NHL prop betting options are available on the Rangers vs. Hurricanes qualifying series. That includes proposition odds on where this series will stand after the first three contests are played. Either side winning 3-0 are listed with big underdog prices while either team owning a 2-1 lead are close favorites.
Score After 3 Games: 2-1 New York +155
One of the reasons I like the Rangers in this series is the New York offense. The Rangers top six scorers posted 373 points during the regular season while the Hurricanes top six recorded 302 points.
FanDuel is offering a “Series Total Games” prop which asks bettors to predict how many games it takes to win the series. Not expecting either team will earn a sweep, or the series going the distance, bet on 4 as the total number of games.
Series Total Games: 4 (+150)
Correct series score is another pre-tournament prop available at FanDuel.
There are six choices and bettors need to predict the series margin of victory and the winning team. The 3-0 correct score odds are heavy underdogs and Carolina winning 3-1 or 3-2 are the top two favorites. All in, on this qualifying round series ending in four games, bet on New York winning the series by a 3-1 margin over Carolina.
Series Final Score: 3-1 New York +440