Panthers vs Hurricanes Game 2: NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
- The Panthers and Hurricanes are set for Game 2 after Game 1 went into a fourth overtime period.
- Carolina is favored, but it's hard to bet against a Florida team with all the momentum in the world right now.
- NHL expert Carol Schram previews this matchup and offers her Panthers vs. Hurricanes Game 2 best bet below.
Panthers vs. Hurricanes Game 2 Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
For those who were able to last all the way through, the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes delivered a multi-course feast of hockey entertainment in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.
The Panthers won Game 1 in the fourth overtime and will look to extend their series on Saturday night in Raleigh. A huge part of the storyline for Game 2 will be how both teams manage to recover from their marathon first act.
So, let’s dig into the matchup and make a betting prediction for Panthers vs. Hurricanes Game 2.
What a night for the Panthers. The eighth-seeded team in the East won its seventh straight road game.
Sergei Bobrovsky continued his astonishing renaissance in Florida’s net, making 63 saves. The 34-year-old is 8-2 in the playoffs with a .927 save percentage, a 2.43 goals-against average and an incredible 13.8 goals saved above expected. And despite the fact that Bobrovsky is known to need special attention with respect to hydration and recovery both during and between games, he has been named Florida’s Game 2 starter.
Bobrovsky has played every minute for the Panthers since he stepped in for Alex Lyon midway through Game 3 of Florida’s first-round series and has been rock solid.
The Panthers lean heavily on their top defenders. Brandon Montour, Gustav Forsling and Aaron Ekblad all easily eclipsed 50 minutes of ice time in Game 1.
No other lineup notes have been reported as of Friday afternoon. At this point, it looks like the Panthers will come back with the same 18 skaters who toiled into the wee hours in Game 1.
The Hurricanes gave their rowdy fans plenty to cheer about early in Game 1 as they opened the scoring on a power-play goal by Seth Jarvis.
The Hurricanes went 2-for-6 on the power play, which was a positive sign for a team that went just 2-for-12 in its five-game, second-round series.
The Hurricanes also dominated the third period, outshooting the Panthers 14-2 and controlling a ridiculous 97% of the expected goals share at 5-on-5 — though they couldn’t find a way to beat Bobrovsky for the game winner.
Ice time on the blue line was a little more balanced for Carolina, although 38-year-old Brent Burns led the way with 54:31 and Jaccob Slavin also skated over 50 minutes.
In net, Frederik Andersen has handled the lion’s share of the work since returning from illness to close out Game 6 of Carolina’s first-round series. However, the Hurricanes operated in a platoon format for much of the regular season and some of Andersen’s workload against the Devils was by necessity as Antti Raanta was going through an illness of his own.
Raanta is now back to full health, and coach Rod Brind’Amour hasn’t said who will start Game 2. Andersen is 5-1 in the playoffs with a .937 save percentage and 5.3 goals saved above expected. Raanta is 3-2 with a .906 save percentage and 0.4 GSAE, though he hasn’t played in nearly a month.
It’s a crucial decision for Brind’Amour, who is already working without a safety net as his team is down 1-0 and Games 3 and 4 will be on the road.
Panthers vs. Hurricanes Pick
Carolina went 2-1 against Florida in the regular season with Andersen and Raanta each earning a win. Additionally, the Hurricanes haven’t lost consecutive games in these playoffs, which suggests they have the resilience to bounce back from Thursday’s devastating defeat.
Those are two good reasons why the Hurricanes remain strong favorites to win Game 2.
However, it’s very tough to bet against Bobrovsky, especially when the Panthers moneyline is a tasty +126.
This might be the time to get on board with the idea that the Panthers are this year’s unlikely team of destiny.
Pick: Panthers Moneyline | Play to +110
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