Hurricanes vs Panthers Game 3: NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction

Hurricanes vs Panthers Game 3: NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction article feature image

Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Vincent Trocheck #16 and Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes.

  • Florida hosts Carolina in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on Monday.
  • The Hurricanes are slight road underdogs after back-to-back OT losses at home.
  • Can the Hurricanes bounce back or are the Panthers and Sergei Bobrovsky unstoppable?

Hurricanes vs Panthers Game 3 Odds

Monday, May 22
8 p.m. ET
Hurricanes Odds-110
Panthers Odds-110
Over/Under5.5 (-112 / -108)
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Panthers will return to Sunrise having shocked the world again after stealing both games in Carolina. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 100 of 103 shots faced, while Matthew Tkachuk continued his incredible postseason with back-to-back overtime winners.

Florida is priced at -115 to extend its lead in the series on Monday. For a team that has won nine of its last 10 games, that price might seem like a slam dunk. But that's not the way I see it.

Let's dive into why the Hurricanes should still be able to make this a series.

Carolina Hurricanes

This series has followed a familiar narrative to what we have seen previously from the Hurricanes under coach Rod Brind'Amour. His team has controlled more of the overall play and had more chances, but has not been able to turn that into wins.

At times during the Brind'Amour era it has been fair to question if the Canes' true shot quality was an issue and if they were overly reliant on breaking through with goals from a wealth of less dangerous shots.

I am not sure how much of a problem their shot quality has really even been in this series — rather that more of the onus is on the fascinating dominance of Bobrovsky.

Per Natural Stat Trick, the Hurricanes are leading by 4.39 expected goals across all strengths in the series. If we look at Moneypuck's model, the gap is 3.75.

It would be fair to argue that the eye test says the opening two games were closer than those numbers suggest, particularly Game 1. Even still, the Hurricanes should feel good that eventually this type of game can lead to wins.

Carolina went with Antti Raanta in goal for Game 2 after Frederik Andersen played seven periods in Game 1. It's likely Andersen will be back in goal for this matchup. He has played to a +5.3 GSAx and .936 save percentage in seven games played.

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Florida Panthers

The Panthers continue to be heralded for their ferocious, opportunistic style of hockey that has led to a 9-1 run. We have to give credit to the fact that Florida beating Boston, Toronto and Carolina in any fashion is extremely impressive.

However, Florida has run with some notable luck all postseason. Moments like this Seth Jarvis cross-bar in overtime continue to break in the Panthers' favor far more often than not, which is not simply an opinion but something stated in the numbers.

Jarvis hits the crossbar and the game continues

— The Colosseum – Solana's Sports Betting Platform (@Colosseum_so) May 19, 2023

Since Game 1 of the Toronto series, Sergei Bobrovsky has played to a +18.45 goals saved above expected rating. That has been the basis behind why the Panthers' suspect defensive play from the regular season suddenly looks far more reasonable.

Bobrovsky will start again in tonight's matchup.

The Panthers' 45.83% expected goal rating in the playoffs is the third-worst mark of all 16 teams — and the worst mark of any remaining side.

I like a lot of what the Panthers have going on offensively and would hate to discredit that. They have three deep lines that are capable of doing damage on any given night.

The defensive end is where I believe the Panthers are really running with some favorable luck. I do not believe they have transitioned into some defensive juggernaut, as their playoff goals against totals would suggest.

Florida has gone 6-0 in overtime this postseason and 6-1 in single-goal games. The Panthers certainly deserve some credit for being "clutch," but again, that mark is not something likely to continue. The Jarvis cross-bar posted above outlines that point.

Hurricanes vs Panthers Pick

There is not much to suggest that the Hurricanes deserve to be a slight underdog here outside of the fact that they happen to trail 2-0 in the series.

Hockey is an extremely high-variance game. It is entirely possible to lose while putting forth performances that are actually more likely to garner a win on average. Throughout the opening two games, I would say that is the case in this series.

The Panthers' combination of winning so many one-goal games — due in large part to receiving arguably the greatest goaltending run in the history of modern analytics — is just not something I can bet into.

Even handicapping this while weighing a significant goaltending edge for Florida, I believe we are getting a good number with the Hurricanes at -105.

The Pick: Hurricanes Moneyline | -105 at DraftKings

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