This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
Stanley Cup Bets for April 25: Expert NHL Picks and Props for Islanders vs. Hurricanes
The New York Islanders head back to PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday night facing elimination in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the Carolina Hurricanes. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on ESPN.
I am excited, as my son Joe and I are heading to PNC Arena. While I've been to several NHL playoff games in my life, both as a fan and for work, oddly enough, I have yet to be in attendance when a team is eliminated and forced to the handshake line. Joe has never been to a postseason game in any sport, so it's going to be fun. There is a chance we see the series end Tuesday, although the Islanders certainly don't figure to go quietly into the night.
The Hurricanes pushed the Islanders to the brink of elimination with a 5-2 road victory in Game 4 at UBS Arena in Elmont, N.Y. Yes, that's a ROAD win for the Hurricanes, a rarity lately.
Carolina entered Sunday's game with the longest active road losing streak in the playoffs, so that was a giant monkey off of its back. The Hurricanes are 2-0 at home in the playoffs this season, and Carolina went 7-1 last season at PNC Arena.
Oddly enough, New York has scored 11 goals in this series, which is just one less than Carolina has in the four games. However, the Islanders have won just once in the series, 5-1 in Game 3 on home ice, and they enter with their backs against the wall and facing a possible trip to the handshake line.
Head coach Rod Brind'Amour surprised some fans and talking heads by tabbing Antti Raanta as his starting goaltender in Game 1. Raanta had his first real extensive postseason experience last season, going 6-5-0 with a 2.26 GAA and .922 SV% with a shutout. He is 3-1-0 with a 2.46 GAA and .915 SV% in four games so far this season.
Ilya Sorokin has managed a 1-3-0 record with a 2.96 GAA and .917 SV% in four games in this series so far. He'll look to keep New York alive, and get the series back to Long Island.
Kyle Palmieri is the only player in the postseason for the Islanders with multiple goals, lighting the lamp twice while leading the team with four points and a plus-3 rating. He has the only power-play goal in the series for the Isles, too.
For the Hurricanes, defenseman Brent Burns hasn't scored a goal, but he has five assists through four games, including three apples on the man advantage.
Carolina has been money on home ice, and I expect they take care of New York in Game 5. They aren't priced out line on the money line, and that's a good play in what should be a close game which might even need overtime.
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NHL Money Line Bets for Islanders vs. Hurricanes
- Hurricanes ML (-152 at BetRivers)
The Over has cashed in the past three games in this series, but I think we're going to have a much more defensive battle in Game 5.
The Hurricanes are likely to be a little more conservative on offense, not risking a potential odd-man rush the other way. The Islanders will also be very careful on the offensive end, as they won't want to give Carolina any help that they do not need.
The Over has dominated for the Islanders lately. However, it's all about the Under for the Hurricanes, including 5-1 in the past six games at PNC Arena. The Under is also 9-4-1 in the past 14 games after allowing two or fewer goals in the previous game.
This should be a defensive slog, and it wouldn't be surprising to see even four or fewer total goals.
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NHL Totals Bets for Islanders vs. Hurricanes
- Under 5.5 (-139 at BetRivers)
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NHL Player Props for Islanders vs. Hurricanes
We'll take a look at players from each team in Game 5 for the NHL player props. While, again, I am expecting a more defensive battle, there is some money to be had on offense.
Looking at the props for the Carolina Hurricanes, Czech pivot Martin Necas as an Anytime Goal Scorer can help you nearly double up. He has a goal and three points in four games in this series, including a power-play goal in Game 4. Necas hasn't scored in his past three games on home ice dating back to April 4 against the Ottawa Senators, a game-winning tally in overtime. Look for Necas to end that mini skid.
- Martin Necas Anytime Goal Scorer (+185 at BetMGM)
Like Necas, Bo Horvat registered a goal in Game 4. In fact, it was a shorthanded goal. The Islanders acquired Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks at the NHL trade deadline, but he was blanked in the first three games of the series. I think Horvat has a good chance to get on the board again in Game 5, and for a chance to more than double up, he is worth a roll of the dice.
- Bo Horvat Anytime Goal Scorer (+210 at BetMGM)
We played this prop earlier in the series, and let's run it back in Game 5. Rearguard Brent Burns has four or more shots on goal in three of his four games, including 10 SOG in the first two games of the series at PNC Arena. At even-money, he is a strong play to go for at least four shots in Game 5.
- Brent Burns Over 3.5 SOG (+100 at BetMGM)