The NHL gave us a few days to catch our breath, but now it’s time for the Conference Finals to get underway.
The Eastern Conference will start things off on Thursday night when the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes collide in Game 1.
The Hurricanes went 2-1 against the Panthers in the regular season, with the latest game being a 6-4 victory in favor of Carolina on April 13.
Let’s dive into the odds for Game 1 and then I’ll give you my best bet.
Panthers vs. Hurricanes odds, puck line, and total
Panthers vs. Hurricanes prediction and pick
The Hurricanes were my preseason pick to win the Stanley Cup and I see no reason to back off them now.
Rod Brind’Amour has proven to be one of the best coaches in the NHL so the Panthers won’t be able to outcoach and out-scheme the ‘Canes like they did the Maple Leafs.
The Hurricanes were the best team when it comes to advanced analytics during the regular season, leading the NHL in areas like CORSI%, FENWICK%, and expected goals. The Panthers were largely a middle of the pack team in those same metrics.
A big reason the Panthers have made it this far has been due to the play of their goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, who has turned back the clock this postseason. But, can he keep it up?
I don’t think so. He had a save percentage of .901 in the regular season and now he has to face a Hurricanes team that has a shooting percentage of 10.9% in the playoffs.
I like the Hurricanes to not only win Game 1 tonight, but go on and win the series as well.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.