NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Panthers vs. Red Wings (April 17)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Panthers vs. Red Wings (April 17) article feature image

Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Sergei Bobrovsky (No. 72).

  • The Panthers are big favorites on Sunday afternoon in Detroit.
  • The Red Wings have shown some promise this season, but Florida is vying for the NHL's best overall record.
  • Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and makes her betting pick below.

Panthers vs. Red Wings Odds

Panthers Odds-300
Red Wings Odds+230
Over/Under7 (+105 / -130)
Time1 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Detroit Red Wings could have their hands full on Sunday, when they kick off a six-game NHL slate with a home-ice matinee against the Florida Panthers.

Now officially eliminated from postseason contention, Detroit will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set after dropping a 4-0 decision to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Florida, meanwhile, is trying to chase down the Colorado Avalanche for the best record in the entire NHL. The Panthers are riding an eight-game winning streak after a 6-1 beatdown of the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night.

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

Panthers Vying for NHL's Best Record

The Panthers are firing on all cylinders, and their current hot streak stretches all the way back to the beginning of March. Since that time, they're 18-2-1.

Florida leads all teams with an average of 4.38 goals per game, its goals against of 2.62 is fourth-best in the league, its power play sits third with a 31.9% success rate and it's averaging a staggering 40 shots per game. The Panthers' biggest weakness is their penalty kill, where they rank 13th at a still-respectable 80.4%.

The results are similar if you look under the hood. The Panthers' Corsi for percentage at 5-on-5 during that time is second-best in the league at 58.2%, their expected goals share is second at 59.88% and their high-danger Corsi percentage is tops at 60.33%. With a PDO of 1.001%, luck is not a primary driver of these events, either.

As incredible as they are, the Panthers are for real.

Florida has a relatively heavy schedule for the last two weeks of the regular season, with eight games remaining including a pair of back-to-back sets.

Starter Sergei Bobrovsky is riding a personal 10-game winning streak and ranks sixth in the league with 18.2 goals saved above expected. He's 2-0-0 against the Red Wings this season and has logged the best numbers of his career against Detroit — a 20-6-1 record with three shutouts and a 1.89 goals-against average.

But the Panthers have done a good job of managing Bobrvosky's minutes compared to some of the other No. 1s around the league — a move that could pay off if Florida goes on a long playoff run.

If Andrew Brunette turns to his backup, Spencer Knight is on a four-game winning streak of his own. In 29 appearances this year, the rookie who turns 21 on Tuesday has a record of 17-8-3 and 1.4 goals saved above expected for the year.

Detroit's Youth Trying To Find Its Wings

As the Red Wings play out the string, they've gotten somewhat unpredictable.

Saturday's loss at MSG was a no-show, but Detroit is 3-2-1 in its last six games, with a come-from-behind win over Boston and a shutout over Carolina on that list.

Alex Nedeljkovic was between the pipes for both those wins, making 46 saves against his old team in Raleigh and facing 50 shots against the Bruins. After Thomas Greiss took the loss on Saturday, Nedeljkovic looks set to start against Florida.

Nedeljkovic is 3-0-3 against the Panthers in his career, with a .929 save percentage. This season, he backstopped the Red Wings to a 3-2 overtime loss on Oct. 29, then allowed one goal on 16 shots in about half a game of relief as Florida beat Detroit 6-2 in early March.

All told, the Red Wings are six games below .500 since March 1 and rank in the bottom 10 of the league over that stretch. They have some great young talent coming along in defenseman Moritz Seider and forwards like Lucas Raymond, Joe Veleno and Filip Zadina. But Detroit is still a little ways away from putting it all together.

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Panthers vs. Red Wings Pick

The Red Wings have been decent on home ice this season at 18-14-7. But the Panthers have won their last three road games — a stretch that kicked off with that crazy 7-6 comeback win in New Jersey that seems to have pushed the Cats' self-confidence to the next level.

The back-to-back situation doesn't help Detroit, either. The Red Wings were chasing Saturday's game for most of the day, outshot 37-20 by the Rangers.

Given the ease with which they've been scoring lately,the red-hot Panthers should have enough juice for a multi-goal victory — even if Nedeljkovic stands on his head.

Back Florida on the puck line.

Pick: Panthers -1.5 (-115); play down to -125

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