Rangers vs. Hurricanes NHL Odds: Larry Ness betting New York -135 on March 31st 2016

| March 31, 2016

rangers vs. hurricanes

New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes
NHL Betting Pick: Rangers -135 odds (March 31st 2016)

Eric Staal Carolina’s second overall pick in 2003 but with his seven-year, $55.75 million contract expiring this summer, the 31-year-old, four-time All-Star and Carolina general manager Ron Francis couldn’t agree on a new deal. So, on the day before the trade deadline, the Hurricanes dealt him to the Rangers in exchange for a prospect playing in Finland and two second-round draft picks. He’s the franchise’s career leader in nearly every category, including 909 games played, 332 goals and 775 points. The Rangers visit PNC Arena in Charlotte tonight, trying to hold off the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division (currently lead by one point with six games remaining). Meanwhile, Carolina is trying to stave off elimination, trailing Philadelphia by SEVEN points for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Staal had played his entire career with Carolina prior to the trade but had scored only 10 times in 63 games with Carolina this season. He was mired in a nine-game goalless drought with New York before netting a pair of goals in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Penguins. “Every game, every day, I’m feeling more comfortable, more confident in the way I can help this team,” said Staal, who admitted it will be a “weird feeling” seeing his younger brother Jordan opposing him Thursday as Staal plays for the first time as a visitor at PNC Arena.

However, the Rangers aren’t likely to need much help from Staal in this one.The Rangers haven’t played since Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Pittsburgh, giving them “fresh legs” heading into a matchup with a team they’ve beaten NINE straight, as well as in 19 of the last 20 meetings. Carolina limps in having lost SEVEN of its last nine, after the team’s playoff hopes were dealt another blow in Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Islanders. That loss marked its league-high 16th defeat beyond regulation and the Hurricanes’ power play continues to sputter, converting on just 1-of-19 chances over the past eight games. That’s NOT good news when facing Henrik Lundqvist, who owns a 1.26 goals-against average in seven straight wins over Carolina.

All things considered, the price is pretty fair!

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