NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Panthers vs. Ducks (November 6)
Joe Hrycych/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Florida Panthers player Brandon Montour
Panthers vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Panthers were widely picked by a number of NHL analysts as a logical regression candidate entering this season after some meaningful offseason exits. To this point they have proven those predictions correct as they have a modest 6-5-1 record.
The Panthers will now look to bounce back after a frustrating loss last night in Los Angeles. They face a Ducks team which has been downright horrific defensively yet stole another win last night in San Jose.
Is this the perfect matchup for the Panthers to get right?
Will the Panthers Offense Wake Up?
Florida's performance Saturday was far from a masterpiece.
The Panthers appeared to score a go-ahead 3-2 goal late in the second, which was disallowed on a borderline goalie interference call and upheld upon review.
Florida then went on the penalty kill after the worst rule in hockey was enforced, and the two-way swing took full affect after the Kings scored on the ensuing power play.
Late in the third Florida's late surge came up just shy, in large to a clean post-hit from Alex Barkov, which perfectly epitomized the Panthers' season to this point.
The Panthers own the league's lowest shooting percentage at just 7.67%, which is the top reason this wildly dominant offense from a year ago has remained under wraps to this point.
The Panthers have the league's highest Expected Goals For per 60 at 4.34 this season yet sit 19th in actual Goals For per game.
The Panthers simply are not playing as far below the Presidents Trophy winning form we saw a year ago as their record suggests. Expect their chances to be finished off at a higher rate as this team will suddenly look far more formidable yet again.
Spencer Knight will make the start for the Panthers and has followed up a strong finish to last season with a +0.9 Goals Saved Above Expected rating and .898 Save Percentage.
Can the Ducks Pull Another Upset?
At the exact opposite end of the spectrum of Florida's tough luck loss on Saturday, Anaheim stole a game it had absolutely no business winning from two goals down.
You can credit the Ducks for showing resilience and hanging around, but the Ducks were outplayed by the Sharks, allowing 52 Shots on Goal, and 16 High Danger Chances Against.
Those lofty numbers have been the going rate for Anaheim defensively this season as the Ducks have allowed the league's highest Shots Against per 60 rate of 39.68.
The Ducks are generating little at the other end as well and have managed an Expected Goals Rate of just 37.91 altogether, which is the second-worst mark in the league, above only the Coyotes.
Anaheim's play has looked entirely that bad, and I would argue that even holding a 4-7-1 record is a firm comment on the randomness of NHL hockey.
Anaheim's defensive corps in particular seems likely to struggle all season long, and the loss of Jamie Drysdale from that unit is certainly notable with the below-replacement-level skaters now taking on bigger roles.
It's crazy to think, but it's also realistic to say that John Gibson has now proven to be the lesser of the Ducks' two starting goaltending options. He will start Sunday with Anthony Stolarz having grinded out a 48-save win a night ago.
Gibson had very poor numbers a season ago and owns a -8.0 Goals Saved Above Expected rating with an .883 Save Percentage to start this year. It seems likely his once incredible reputation is hiding how bad his form has been for over an entire calendar year at this point.
Panthers vs. Ducks Pick
Last night was an incredibly frustrating loss for the Panthers, who have played better than their record suggests in the early going of this season.
My expectation is that frustration spills over into this contest, and the Panthers control play at an elite level in this matchup as they generate 4-5 goals.
Anaheim has continued to allow a wealth of chances against night in and night out, and even against a lowly Sharks team they were completely caved in during five-on-five play last night.
The Panthers offer a significantly deeper and more talented offensive unit than the Sharks, and the Panthers should expose the problems this Ducks team has consistently illustrated this season.
It's also a bonus that this goaltending matchup is Gibson versus Knight, as I believe Knight will outplay Bobrovsky over the whole of the season, and Gibson has quietly proven to be well worse than Stolarz at this point.
At +110 for Florida to cover the puck-line, I believe we have a strong price, and I think considering alt-lines of -2.5 and -3.5 could also hold merit at long prices.
With Anaheim allowing the most Shots on Goal per 60 and the second-most Goals Against per game, a ton of Panthers player props are valid as well.
My favorite remains Brandon Montour to record Over 2.5 Shots on Goal. Since being added to the Panthers' top power play unit, Montour has averaged 4.6 Shots on Goal per game and cashed this line in four of five games.
The only loss to this number was last night, when Montour only had three shots and a goal should the very borderline Tkachuk goalie interference call not have stood.
Pick: Florida Panthers -1.5 +110 (Play to -105) | Brandon Montour Over 2.5 Shots -132 (Play to -140)