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Alaska lawmaker and six others die when two planes collide midair Shake Shack, Panera, and Chipotle open drive-thrus to keep up with fast-food rivals like McDonalds and Taco Bell Rangers vs. Hurricanes odds, line: 2020 NHL picks, Aug. 1 predictions from proven computer model

Fans have gone nearly five months without hockey since the NHL shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The wait comes to an end on Saturday as the New York Rangers take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the opener of their best-of-five 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifier series. The league has been paused since March 11, but is resuming with a format that gives the top 12 teams in each conference a chance to win the championship. New York, which did not occupy a playoff spot when the regular season was halted, enters the series as the 11th seed in the East, while the Hurricanes, who were the first wild card, are seeded fifth and considered the home team for Game 1.

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Somehow, Johnny Gaudreau remains unsigned.

The opening faceoff from Scotiabank Arena in Toronto is set for noon ET. Carolina is the -130 favorite on the money line in the latest Rangers vs. Hurricanes odds by William Hill, while the over-under for total goals scored is six. Before making any Hurricanes vs. Rangers picks, check out the NHL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

This model simulates every NHL game 10,000 times, taking into account factors like current form, individual matchups, injuries and short- and long-term trends when making NHL picks. The model seeks the best values on the money line, puck line and total.

Now, the model has set its sights on Rangers vs. Hurricanes. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NHL odds and trends for Hurricanes vs. Rangers: 

  • Rangers vs. Hurricanes money line: New York +110, Carolina -130
  • Rangers vs. Hurricanes puck line: Carolina -1.5
  • Rangers vs. Hurricanes over-under: 6 goals
  • NYR: The Rangers are 31-6-0 against the Hurricanes since February 2011.
  • CAR: The Hurricanes are 23-9-3 in their black jerseys, which debuted in June 2018.
Why you should back the Rangers

Despite playing in only 57 games, Mika Zibanejad had the best season of his career with 41 goals and 75 points. The 27-year-old Swede ended the regular season on a six-game goal-scoring and point streaks, netting 11 tallies while notching two assists in that span. Zibanejad landed on the scoresheet in 15 of his final 16 games and didn't go more than one contest without a point after a two-game drought from Jan. 11-13.

New York also has Hart Trophy finalist Artemi Panarin, who finished tied for third in the NHL with a career-high 95 points, and will regain the services of Chris Kreider, who reached the 20-goal plateau (21) for the fifth time in six seasons before going down with a broken foot in February. The Rangers have three goaltenders who are more than capable but likely will start rookie Igor Shesterkin over Alexandar Georgiev and former Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist. The 24-year-old Shesterkin won eight of his final nine starts and finished with a 10-2-0 record and 2.52 goals-against average.

Why you should back the Hurricanes

Andrei Svechnikov avoided the dreaded sophomore slump, recording 24 goals and 61 points after notching 20 and 37 as a rookie in 2018-19. The 20-year-old Russian, who was the second overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, should benefit from the long layoff after ending the regular season with a nine-game goal-scoring drought. Svechnikov has proven he can perform on the big stage as he recorded three goals and two assists in nine games during Carolina's run to the conference final last year.

As good as Svechnikov is, the Hurricanes are led offensively by a pair of Finns in Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen. Aho led the team with 38 goals and 66 points while Teravainen finished three points behind his fellow countryman. Carolina could be without defensemen Dougie Hamilton (undisclosed) and Brett Pesce (shoulder), but the team is deep enough on the blue line to make up for the potential losses.

How to make Rangers vs. Hurricanes picks

SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, as the simulation suggests Zibanejad and Panarin each record almost 1.5 points, and it also says one side of the money line has the value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Hurricanes vs. Rangers? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Rangers vs. Hurricanes spread to jump on Saturday, all from the advanced model that has simulated this matchup 10,000 times, and find out. 

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Bruins Tuukka Rask opts out of Stanley Cup Playoffs hours ahead of Game 3 vs. Hurricanes

Tuukka Rask has opted out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Boston Bruins hours before Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Boston Bruins are losing their starting goalie for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as Tuukka Rask has announced through the Bruins social media that he is opting out of Stanley Cup Playoffs to return home to his family.

#NHLBruins goalie Tuukka Rask has opted out of the NHLs Return to Play:

— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 15, 2020

The Bruins are in the middle of a first round playoff series, tied 1-1 with the Carolina Hurricanes with Game 3 only a few hours after this decision was made public. Through two round-robin games and the first two games of this series, Rask had a record of 1-3 with .904 save percentage. Rask was also nominated for the Vezina this regular season, leading all starting goalies with a .929 save percentage and leading all goalies with 23 goals saved above average.

With Tuukka Rask withdrawing from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Jaroslav Halak will assume the starting goaltending duties for the Boston Bruins the rest of the way

The Bruins will now turn to backup goalie Jaroslav Halak, who’s been a consistently reliable option for the last two seasons with 40 wins and a .921 save percentage since signing with the team in 2018. Halak has also been a consistently great playoff performer throughout his career, with a .922 save percentage in 31 career playoff games.

It’s important to note the mention of family by Rask and the wholehearted support of the organization for Rask’s decision. Bruins head coach Don Sweeney cited that Rask has a newborn daughter at home along with his other two young kids, and that understandably put a mental strain on him. This is not Rask quitting on his team. This is a father going back to be with his family.

Sweeney: "I dont think its any big surprise to us. … This has been a difficult decision for Tuukka. The Boston Bruins are in full support of why he made this decision."

— Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) August 15, 2020

Rask’s frustration with the bubble environment was apparent following the Bruins loss in Game 2 to the Hurricanes, citing that “it didn’t feel like playoff hockey” and that it “feels like an exhibition game”.

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"It doesnt really feel like playoff hockey out there. Theres no fans so its kinda like playing an exhibition game." – Tuukka Rask #NHLonSN

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 14, 2020

This is no doubt a devastating blow for the Bruins as they look to return to the Stanley Cup Final, but you can’t fault a father for returning home to take care of his family. Lest we forget, these are not normal times and these are far from normal playoffs, and we can’t treat them as such. Halak will have to step up in Rask’s absence, but he’s proven himself to be up to the task.

Next: Winners and losers from the Canadiens Game 2 win over the Flyers

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