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Eastern Conference Final Game 3 Betting Preview: It’s Must-Win Time for Struggling Hurricanes

After suffering back-to-back blowout losses in Boston, the Carolina Hurricanes return home to Raleigh to face a must-win Game 3 in the Eastern Conference final tonight. Sportsbooks opened the Hurricanes as -115 home favorites with a total of 5.5.

Bruins vs Hurricanes Game Center

Standout Stats

  • This is the 32nd time the Bruins have won the first two games of a best-of-seven series. They’ve won the series 24 of the previous 31 times.
  • Since the conference format was adopted in the 1981-82 season, teams that take a 2-0 lead in the conference finals are 30-2 in the series.
  • Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour has a decision to make in net ahead of Game 3. Petr Mrazek hasn’t looked good so far, giving up 10 goals in the first two games. Curtis McElhinney, who boasts a .947 save percentage and 1.56 goals-against average in the postseason, is available if needed.
  • Boston is 4-for-9 on the power play in the series and has had 19 different players score in the playoffs, matching a franchise record.
  • Carolina went back home trailing 2-0 to the Washington Capitals in the first round before eventually prevailing. The 2011 Bruins (conference quarterfinal, Stanley Cup final) and 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins (conference semifinals, Stanley Cup final) are the only teams to rally from down 2-0 to win a playoff series multiple times.
  • With both games going OVER so far, bettors can expect the OVER to get plenty of traction at sportsbooks. The OVER is now 4-0 in the Hurricanes’ last four contests with an average combined score of 7.3 goals.

My best bet for Hurricanes-Bruins

Bruins moneyline

Oddsmakers are clearly factoring in home-ice advantage to the line in Game 3, but with the way the Hurricanes have played so far, I have a hard time trusting them right now. Boston is the superior team and looks to have Carolina on the ropes after two games. With the Bruins riding a wave of momentum thanks to two huge wins at TD Garden, I like them to take a 3-0 series lead in Carolina.