by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
Bruins at Hurricanes | OddsShark Matchup Report
Opening NHL Odds: Bruins -120 Favorites
The Bruins can advance to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 2013 by completing a sweep of the Hurricanes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final on Thursday.
Boston edged Carolina 2-1 in Game 3 on Tuesday, cashing as a +110 road underdog. The total also went UNDER for the first time in the series after seeing 15 goals scored in the first two games.
This figures to be another low-scoring affair if the goaltenders play like they did in Game 3, with Tuukka Rask of the Bruins continuing to build a strong case for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs. Rask turned away 35 of 36 shots in Game 3, including 20 in the first period alone. Then Boston helped him out offensively by scoring two goals 5:07 apart in the second period to take a 2-0 lead en route to winning its sixth postseason game in a row for the first time since 1978.
Carolina suffered its first home loss of the playoffs after going 5-0 and outscoring opponents 22-7 in their first five at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes now have the unenviable task of trying to become just the fifth team ever to rally back from a 3-0 deficit in the NHL playoffs and win a series, although captain Justin Williams was on the Los Angeles Kings when they pulled off that feat on their way to hoisting the Cup in 2014.
On a positive note, backup goalie Curtis McElhinney performed well in place of previous starter Petr Mrazek with 29 saves to at least give the home team a chance to win. The Bruins have closed out their previous two postseason foes in their first attempt both times, so this will be another tough test for McElhinney, Williams and the rest of their teammates.
Carolina has not dropped four consecutive games since a season-high five-game skid ended last November 6. And for those wondering about the possibility of Boston losing four straight, the team has not done that since last year’s playoffs.