|Written by Jerry Santiago|
|Friday, 17 April 2009 09:11|
NHL playoffs action will turn to an eastern conference game 2 matchup on the NHL betting lines as Carolina is at New Jersey.NHL playoffs handicappers significantly favor the 3-seed Devils but the 6-seed Hurricanes entered the post season as one of the hottest teams vs. the NHL betting lines.
The Carolina Hurricanes spot in the NHL playoffs was in grave jeopardy throughout the regular season but they put it into fifth gear at just the right time by beating the NHL betting lines 17 out of their final 24 games to gain entrance into the NHL playoffs. Goaltender Cam Ward was a major factor in Carolina making the post season. The workhorse Ward won 39 games for the season, had a .916 save percentage, and a 2.44 goals against average.
Ward was an elite goaltender down the stretch and is a key factor in Carolina's possibility of success in the NHL playoffs. Carolina's offense will have to improve from its middle of the road 16th ranking in the NHL. Left winger Ray Whitney, a long time veteran, led the Hurricanes in scoring with 24 goals and 53 assists. Center Eric Staal contributed 40 goals and 35 assists. Whitney and Staal will have to be even better in the NHL playoffs for the Hurricanes to have a shot.
The New Jersey Devils also closed well as they won 4 of their last 5 regular season games to groove smoothly into the NHL playoffs. As is always the case the Devils have one of the elite defensive units in the NHL playoffs as they ranked 4th overall in the league.
Goaltender Martin Broduer was out for much of the first half of the season with an injury but he was stellar upon his return with a 19-9 record, 2.42 goals against average, and a .916 save percentage. Left winger Zach Parise is the main man on offense for the Devils as he scored 45 goals and 49 assists. Fellow left winger Patrick Elias is another important factor for the NHL playoffs as he scored 31 goals and 47 assists.
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