Carolina won the Central Division title this season by racking up 80 points during the regular year. The Hurricanes were a popular preseason pick to win the Stanley Cup, and they played like it all season long.
Nashville got off to a terrible start in 2021, but they played extremely well near the end of the year. The Predators snuck into the playoffs with 64 regular-season points, but they have battled in this series.
The Carolina Hurricanes are the betting favorites at -140 over the Nashville Predators in Game 6. The over/under is set at 5.5 total goals.
Carolina Can Score
The Carolina Hurricanes scored 3.13 goals per game this season, which was just outside the top-10 in the NHL. This team might not have a true MVP candidate, but all four offensive lines have the ability to score goals.
Sebastian Aho led the Hurricanes during the regular season, and he had a team-high five points in the postseason. Aho has gotten plenty of help, and this team has the ability to explode on offense at any time.
Carolina has also been solid on the defensive end of the ice, holding teams to less than 2.4 goals per game. This means that the Hurricanes can win games in a variety of ways, and that will play a role in this one.
Nashville Needs Slow Pace
If the Nashville Predators are going to keep their season alive, they will have to slow down the pace in this game. Nashville averaged just 2.65 goals during the season, and scoring at least three goals is hard for this team to do.
Special teams play has been a problem for Nashville this season, and that could end their season on Thursday night. Defenseman Ryan Ellis leads the team with four points this postseason, and the Predators will need more scoring from the forwards.
Goaltender Juuse Saros has allowed just 2.59 goals against this postseason, but that might not be good enough in Game 6. The Predators need Saros to steal this game if they want to keep their season alive.
Hurricanes Eliminate Predators
Nashville has done a great job of slowing down the pace throughout this series, but eventually, Carolina is going to break through. The Hurricanes are the much deeper team, and that offense is simply too good to be stopped for long.
The Nashville crowd should help the Panthers keep this game close throughout, but it won’t help them score the convincing goal. Carolina wants to end this thing in Game 6 instead of facing a must-win at home in Game 7.
The Hurricanes will find just enough offense to get back the Predators and finish off the series. Bet the Carolina Hurricanes -140 over the Nashville Predators as they win Game 6 and advance to the second round.