Panthers vs. Kraken NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Expect Florida, Seattle to Deliver Offensive Fireworks (Jan. 23)
Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Kraken standout Jared McCann.
- The Panthers play in Seattle for the first time ever on Sunday night.
- The Kraken beat Florida in convincing fashion earlier this season but are +195 underdogs tonight.
- Greg Liodice breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Panthers vs. Kraken Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
For the first time, the Florida Panthers will take the ice at the Climate Pledge Arena when they face the Seattle Kraken in Sunday’s NHL showdown.
This will be the second and final time both these teams square off, as the Kraken earned a convincing 4-1 win in a November meeting. While the Kraken have regressed and Florida has progressed, the Panthers will look to even the season series.
Florida is one of the most dangerous teams in the NHL, holding the top record across the league. The Panthers are coming into the Pacific Northwest red-hot, with an 8-1-1 record in their last 10 contests.
In contrast, the NHL’s newest franchise has seen its hardships in its inaugural season. Seattle started off 2022 going 0-5 before winning two out of its last three games. Despite taking a brutal loss to St. Louis on Friday, there’s hope the worst is behind for the franchise.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’d know the Panthers aren’t to be messed with on the ice.
Jonathan Huberdeau and captain Aleksander Barkov are scoring more than a point per game. They’re also getting exceptional production from Sam Reinhart, Aaron Ekblad, Carter Verhaeghe and Anthony Duclair.
Injuries and COVID-19 issues have hit the team, as they’ll miss Patric Hornqvist, Sam Bennett and Gustav Forsling, but this is as deep of a team you’ll find in the league.
It should be no surprise, but the Panthers are the best team at generating offense, with an elite 3.46 expected goals per 60 minutes (xGF/60) this season. Florida creates the most high-danger chances, while scoring 21.2% on the power play. Its offense is always a threat to the opposition, and it’ll be hard to lock them down.
With that kind of offense, the defense can sometimes take a hit. The Panthers are very talented on the blue line, but allow the 10th-most high danger chances. Yet, due to great goaltending, they don’t concede many goals.
With so many expectations after signing an enormous contract, Sergei Bobrovsky disappointed his first two years in “The Sunshine State.”
However, the man they call “Bob” has stood on his head all season. With a .925 SV% and a league-leading 22.2 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected), it has been rough getting pucks past him. Backup Spencer Knight has fared fine in his rookie year, but he played Friday, so I expect Bobrovsky to start.
While this year is still the “honeymoon phase” for Seattle fans, it can never be fun watching a team struggle like this. Although, it does seem the group is turning around after a horrid nine-game losing streak.
Jordan Eberle was named to the NHL All-Star team, while Jared McCann is the Seattle’s lead scorer and Yanni Gourde has been well received with his gritty style of play.
Injuries have riddled the Kraken, as they will be without Brandon Tanev, Jaden Schwartz, Chris Dreidger and potentially Jamie Oleksiak.
Seattle is getting better, and with that, it’s creating more offense. It’s not much, but the Kraken are bottom five in expected goals per 60 minutes with a 2.08 xGF/60, but it’s an improvement from what they were at, which was sub-2 in the category.
With a losing record, teams are bound to not generate as many high-danger chances as they create the sixth least and are 11th worst on the power play, scoring at 17.4% of the time.
One thing head coach Dave Hakstol does well is create a solid defensive foundation. The back end was always a positive for the Kraken, as they allow the second-least amount of high-danger chances, but due to poor goaltending, allow the most goals which is quite drastic.
After a Vezina Trophy caliber season, Philipp Grubauer is having a season to forget. The German goaltender is posting career low numbers, with an .883 SV% and a league worst -24.9 GSAx this season. He has been a bit better in the past few games, but the fact his numbers are still that poor is a cause for concern.
One could say Seattle would have a better record had Grubauer been stronger between the pipes. Backup Joey Daccord played Friday against St. Louis, so I expect Grubauer to get the nod.
Panthers vs. Kraken Pick
Seattle isn’t a poor team by any means, but its goaltending is holding them back. With the firepower Florida brings and it’s foe’s poor goaltending, it could get very ugly in Seattle.
For that reason, I’m backing the over on the total. Picking the game to clear 6.5 goals is spicy, but with how Florida has played, it’s not out of the ordinary. Not to mention, Seattle has the ability to net a few goals every once in a while.
Pick: Total Over 6.5 Goals (-110)
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