Friday Night POWER-PLAY *SPECIAL* (Only $25!)
Detroit vs. Carolina,
02/02/2018 19:00 EDT,
Score: 4 - 1
Money Line: -158 Carolina
8* Carolina (7:05 ET): The Hurricanes picked up two crucial points last night by shutting out Montreal, 2-0, here at home. It was their third consecutive win, but that only leaves them tied for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Metro is likely to send five teams into the playoffs this year, and outside of Washington, it's anybody's guess as to who the other four will be. Currently, you have seven teams separated by just five points! Meanwhile, over in the Atlantic, Detroit is one of several teams already relegated to "also-ran" status. That division is a lot clearer than the Metro right now as you have three teams (TB, Boston and Toronto) that are almost assuredly playoff-bound while the rest are not.
So we've established that Carolina has every reason to be the more motivated side Friday night. They should also be pretty confident knowing that they just beat the Red Wings, in Detroit, 10 days ago. This is a really critical stretch for the 'Canes as well. They'll be playing their next six and nine of the next 10 games at home where they are now 12-7-4 for the year. Something in Carolina's favor for this stretch is that they average an impressive 36.4 shots per game on home ice. So they should get plenty of scoring chances here. As for the other side of the ledger, Detroit is just 28th in goals per game. Carolina may have to turn to Scott Darling in goal tonight (Cam Ward made 27 saves last night), but should be fine either way.
I keep waiting for the Red Wings to lose a shootout. They won another one last night, at home over San Jose, to move to 13-1 in SO's since the start of last season. That's a record that seems totally unsustainable. If not for that record, one has to wonder just how bad their overall won-loss record would look over that time. Now they did outshoot the Sharks, pretty significantly, last night. But only once in the previous six games have they topped two goals in regulation. All but one of those games were played in the Motor City. I just don't think the Red Wings are very good while Carolina is actually #1 in the league in shot per game differential (key metric!). 8* Carolina