NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Panthers vs Senators (Monday, November 27)
OTTAWA, ON – OCTOBER 21: Ottawa Senators Right Wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) after a whistle during second period National Hockey League action between the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators on October 21, 2023, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Panthers vs. Senators Odds
Monday night, get ready for another round of the Battle of the Tkachuks. The Florida Panthers will be kicking off a Canadian road trip against the Ottawa Senators.
Older brother Matthew, of course, was the darling of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs, posting 24 points in 20 games on the Panthers' surprise run to the final. After back-to-back 40-goal seasons, he has lit the lamp just three times so far this year, but does have 17 points.
Meanwhile, in Ottawa, Senators captain Brady has 15 points, but is leading his team with 10 goals. With nine Ottawa players already at 10 points or more, the Senators have been strong on the offensive side of the puck, but often struggle to defend. Lately, the Panthers have been dealing with the opposite issue.
Let's preview the latest NHL odds and dive into my prediction for Panthers vs. Senators on Monday, November 27.
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For Florida, star defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Branton Montour have been back in the lineup for about a week following their offseason surgeries. Captain Aleksander Barkov also returned on Friday after missing two games with a knee issue.
But the Panthers came out of the Thanksgiving break with a 3-0 shutout loss to the surging Winnipeg Jets. They also lost 3-1 to Boston last Wednesday, so they're riding just their second two-game losing streak of the season as their home record has dropped to 6-3-1.
With that in mind, the change of scenery may be welcome as Florida opens a 3-in-4 road trip through Eastern Canada on Monday. All three games will be against division rivals, so the Panthers need to win these four-pointers to keep control of their position in the jammed-up Atlantic Division.
This season, the Panthers have kept a good defensive lid on their games, despite the absence of Ekblad and Montour. The goaltending has been acceptable and their expected goals share of 52.31% is solid, but they've sputtered a bit offensively.
Sam Reinhart is the only Florida player with double-digit goals (13) and averaging more than a point per game (25). But he has just one point in Florida's last four games and when he's not going, his teammates haven't been doing enough to pick up the slack.
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The Senators remain last in the Atlantic Division, but that's partly because they've played less than any of their rivals. With a .500 record through 16 games, their winning percentage is actually better than the two teams directly above them, Buffalo and Montreal.
Ottawa came back from its NHL Global Series trip to Sweden with four points in the bank following extra-time wins over Detroit and Minnesota. But in their first game back home on Friday, they dropped a 5-3 decision to the New York Islanders.
On the injury front, Joonas Korpisalo didn't serve as backup in Friday's game due to general body soreness. He was back on the ice for practice on Sunday, so he could get the nod against the Panthers.
Coach D.J. Smith also shuffled his forward lines at Sunday's practice, looking to counter what the Panthers will bring at both ends of the ice.
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The Tkachuk brothers are as competitive with each other as they are with everybody else and so far, neither one has the edge in the head-to-head battle. Believe it or not, they're 9-9 against each other in their NHL careers.
In three meetings last season after Matthew arrived in Florida, the home side prevailed in each one.
With these teams separated by nine points in the standings, there isn't as wide of a gap between their betting lines as you might expect. That could be an invitation to play it safe and take the Florida favorites at a comfortable line of around -120.
But the better bet is to assume that the Sens will be able to find their 'A' game again now that they've had a few more days to put the jetlag from their Swedish trip behind them, and keep the trend of home wins alive.
For Monday, give the advantage to Brady.