Fox Necas identifies key gameday matchups and players to watch throughout the 2023-24 season


Note: Betting lines provided by Betway (U.S., Ontario)


Game 3: New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; MAX, truTV, TNT, SN, TVAS, CBC)

NYR puckline (+1.5 goals): -190
CAR puckline (-1.5 goals): +150

The Rangers have a 2-0 lead against the Hurricanes in their best-of-7 series after winning each game at home by a goal differential of one. New York is 6-10 on the road in the playoffs since 2022, and Carolina has the most home postseason wins (15) in the NHL over that same span. The Hurricanes have outshot the Rangers 82-62 in the series (25-23 in opener; 57-39 in Game 2 double-overtime loss). New York is 4-for-9 on the power play in the series. Three of Carolina’s four wins against the New York Islanders in the first round came by multiple goals.

Center Vincent Trocheck scored the overtime goal for the Rangers in Game 2 against his former team and is tied with Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad for their points lead (four in two games) in the second round; Trocheck has scored goals in five straight playoff games. Hurricanes forwards Seth Jarvis and Sebastian Aho are tied for their most points (eight) this postseason; Jarvis leads Carolina in goals (four) this postseason and has had at least three shots on goal in each of the two games against New York in the series.

Game 2: Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars (9:30 p.m. ET; MAX, truTV, TNT, SN360, SN, TVAS)

3-way moneyline
COL regulation win: +165
Tied after regulation: +320
DAL regulation win: +125

The Stars have lost three of their five home games this postseason after the Avalanche rallied from being down by three goals for a 4-3 overtime win in Game 1. Colorado forward Valeri Nichushkin, who has a six-game goal streak, ranks second in the NHL in goals (eight) this postseason behind Zach Hyman of the Edmonton Oilers (nine). The Avalanche are leading the NHL in playoff goals per game (5.33) despite facing elite goalies Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Jake Oettinger of the Stars so far; Dallas is averaging the fewest (2.38) goals among the remaining playoff teams.

Colorado goalie Alexandar Georgiev is 5-0 with a .921 save percentage since a 7-6 loss in Game 1 of the first round at Winnipeg, with four of those victories coming in regulation. Stars forward Wyatt Johnston leads them in goals (five), points (eight in eight games) and shots on goal (29) this postseason. Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen is quietly tied for the NHL lead in even-strength points (eight in six games) this playoffs.


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