It took four overtimes, but the Florida Panthers outlasted the Carolina Panthers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday night.
Now, the two teams have to turn around and play Game 2 on Saturday, and it’s almost a guarantee that there will be some tired legs on both sides.
The Hurricanes are favored at home, where they have gone 5-1 so far in the playoffs.
Florida has the second-best goal differential in the playoffs, but can it steal yet another road game on Saturday?
Here are the latest odds and a best bet for this game:
Panthers vs. Hurricanes odds, puck line and total
Panthers vs. Hurricanes prediction and pick
These two offenses have been great in the playoffs, ranking No. 1 and 2 in the NHL in expected goals for, but the Hurricanes have slowed opponents scoring the puck a little more.
In their four wins against the New Jersey Devils, the Canes allowed just five total goals, and they’ve held playoff opponents to one goal in five of 12 games so far this postseason.
Florida has been impressive on this playoff run, but asking the team to steal two road games, with the second being on tired legs, seems like a lot.
During the regular season, the Canes were 28-10-3 at home, and they’ve kept up that strong play in the postseason.
I expect this series to be a tight one, so I’ll back Carolina to even it in Game 2.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.