NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Panthers vs. Canucks (Jan. 21)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Ekblad
Panthers vs. Canucks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Vancouver Canucks finally return home on Friday night, but they’ve got quite the welcoming committee. The Florida Panthers are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and have scored 61 goals in that span. The Cats responded to a 5-1 defeat in Calgary on Tuesday with a 6-0 win over Edmonton on Thursday night.
Can bettors feel comfortable taking a shot against Florida in a tough spot?
The Panthers Seem Unstoppable
Just when you thought the Panthers might have a moment of weakness they come out firing. The Panthers did not even play their best hockey in Edmonton as they were outshot 40-28 and lost the expected goals battle, but great teams find a way to win. Not only did they do that, they also scored 6 goals on 28 shots.
The Panthers are a very difficult team to slow down offensively. They generate the third-most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes, they average the most shots on goal per game and their power-play converts at a 20.8% rate. They’re arguably the most well-balanced offense in the league.
Florida hasn’t named a starting goaltender yet for tonight, but I’m led to believe that they will go with Spencer Knight since this is the second game of a back-to-back. Knight had a poor performance in Calgary on Tuesday, allowing 5 goals on 31 shots, and has struggled to a -5.0 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) in 15 games this season.
Are the Canucks Heating Up Again?
Vancouver returns home on the heels of two straight wins and has generally looked much better since Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach.
A big part of Vancouver’s success has been the play of Thatcher Demko in goal, but the team will be without its starting goalie for the next few days due to a positive Covid-19 test. To make matters worse, No. 2 goalie Jaroslav Halak is also out, meaning Vancouver will turn to Spencer Martin on Friday night.
Martin has not played an NHL game since 2016-17, but does have a .921 save percentage in seven AHL games this season.
The good news for Martin is that the Canucks have been pretty solid defensively all season long. Vancouver has allowed the fewest 5-on-5 goals this season and, although the Canucks are due for some regression in that department, the team still ranks inside the top-half of the league in terms of xGA and high-danger chances allowed.
Panthers vs. Canucks Pick
It’s already hard to bet against the Panthers, but then throw in the fact that they’re taking on a goalie six years removed from his last NHL start and it becomes nearly impossible to back the Canucks.
Instead, I’ll keep it simple and hope that Martin doesn’t pull out something magical and back the Panthers to get the win in regulation.
Pick: Florida Panthers to win in regulation -130
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