NHL Odds, Preview & Expert Prediction: Kraken vs. Panthers (December 11)

NHL Odds, Preview & Expert Prediction: Kraken vs. Panthers (December 11) article feature image

Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Daniel Sprong (left), Matty Beniers (right).

  • Despite the Kraken being the better team, the Panthers are favored in Sunday's NHL odds.
  • Still, Florida's question marks loom large on Sunday.
  • Combined with a schedule disadvantage, fading the Panthers is your best bet here.

Kraken vs. Panthers NHL Odds

Kraken Odds+145
Panthers Odds-175
Over/Under6.5 (-125/+105)
Time6 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

For the second and final time this season, the Seattle Kraken and Florida Panthers will square off on Sunday at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise.

The Kraken are in the midst of a four-game road trip that saw them drop a 4-1 decision in Washington on Friday. They've now lost three in a row. And after falling 4-1 against the Lightning in Tampa on Saturday, the Panthers are kicking off a three-game homestand on Sunday.

Here's the latest on both teams, and your best bet for the game.

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Ups and Downs For the Kraken 

It was the Panthers who snapped the Kraken's franchise-record seven game win streak on Dec. 3, a 5-1 home loss for Seattle. The Kraken then dropped a 4-2 home-ice decision to Montreal on Tuesday before losing in Washington on Friday. Heading into Saturday night's games, their record of 15-8-3 slots them into second place in the Pacific Division. Edmonton and Los Angeles are both just one point back, but the Kraken have games in hand on both.

In terms of 5-on-5 puck possession, the Kraken are slightly above average, controlling 51.95% of expected goals. In net, Philipp Grubauer has played three of the last four games. He took the loss against the Panthers back in Seattle, with five goals allowed. He also played in Washington on Friday, so it's likely that Martin Jones will start on Sunday in Sunrise. Jones has largely exceeded expectations this season. But he has been leaky in his last four starts, which included that wild 9-8 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 27.

Jones has a 5.27 goals-against average and .802 save percentage since Nov. 23. But he won three of his four games during that stretch, which says a lot about how much Seattle was scoring.  For the season, the Kraken are averaging a solid 3.50 goals per game and have a decent 24.4% power play. But they're going through a dry patch, with just four goals in total over their last three outings.

On the personnel front, top-six winger Jaden Schwartz missed Friday's game in Washington and is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. And rookie Shane Wright has been loaned to Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championship. With 21 points in 26 games, Seattle's Matty Beniers continues to lead all NHL rookies in scoring.

And while the Kraken are reasonably solid defensively at 5-on-5, their penalty kill has given them problems all year. It's clicking at just 68.6% and has allowed 12 goals on 27 opportunities over the last eight games, including three to the Panthers on four chances last week.

Question Marks for the Panthers

Still fighting to find consistency, Florida is 13-11-4 so far this season and still outside the wild-card positions in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have won three out of their last five, with multi-goal victories over the Canucks, Kraken and Red Wings. But they've also suffered recent multi-goal losses in Winnipeg (5-2) and Tampa (4-1).

It's also unclear whether they'll be able to turn to their starting goaltender on Sunday. Spencer Knight is 8-4-3 this season, with a .919 save percentage and 3.5 goals saved above expected, but did not dress for Saturday's game due to illness. Sergei Bobrovsky took the loss, dropping to 5-7-1, and was at minus -7.1 goals saved above expected for the season heading into Saturday's action.

If Knight isn't well enough to start on Sunday, the 34-year-old Bobrovsky will either be forced into a back-to-back situation or Florida will turn to 30-year-old farmhand Alex Lyon, who would be making his debut in Panthers colors.

In addition to Knight, Florida has also been missing injured forwards Anton Lundell and Patric Hornqvist, and defenseman Radko Gudas. The latter two take a good chunk of snarl out of the team's lineup. Defenseman Matt Kiersted and forward Zac Dalpe were recalled from the AHL Charlotte Checkers on an emergency basis earlier this week.

Statistically, the Panthers remain one of the league's best teams at 5-on-5, controlling 56.16% of expected goals. But they're just so-so on special teams this year, with a power play at 20.6% and a penalty kill at 76.5%.

Kraken vs. Panthers Pick

The Panthers certainly had their way in Seattle last week, but they'll be at a schedule disadvantage on Sunday as they complete their weekend back-to-back set. The uncertain status of Spencer Knight is an additional cause for concern, and Florida's other injuries leave their side's lineup a bit thin.

And while the Kraken have been having trouble lighting the lamp lately, they've shown this season that they now have the offensive depth to outscore most opponents on most nights. That'll turn around, probably soon.

Seattle is healthier and more rested — but also a pretty significant underdog at +145 at BetMGM and PointsBet.

Hop on that moneyline.

Pick:Kraken moneyline at +145; play down to +125

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