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NHL PrizePicks for Panthers vs. Hurricanes: Matthew Tkachuk, Martin Necas Among Top Plays (Thursday, May 18)

NHL PrizePicks for Panthers vs. Hurricanes: Matthew Tkachuk, Martin Necas Among Top Plays (Thursday, May 18) article feature image

Via Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Tkachuk #19 of the Florida Panthers skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during Game Five of the Second Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on May 12, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final is set for Thursday night with the Carolina Hurricanes hosting the Florida Panthers. Despite the lone game, there are still plenty of entries to sift through on PrizePicks.
But first, a quick refresher if you aren’t familiar with PrizePicks: you can combine up to five different player squares to pay out up to 10x your entry.
You can do a Flex Play or a Power Play. A Flex Play gives you lesser odds, but you can win money if you do not nail every pick. A Power Play is all-or-nothing.
Here’s how I would approach Thursday’s Game 1.

What is PrizePicks? A daily fantasy operator — meaning they’re available in more states (30) than sports betting is! — PrizePicks offers a unique opportunity for action on player picks in which you combine two or more entries together.

Frederik Andersen + Sergei Bobrovsky Fewer Than 0.5 Goals Allowed in First 9 Minutes

Frederik Andersen has been absolutely brilliant between the pipes this postseason. Through six appearances in the crease, he is 5-0 with a .931 save percentage (SV%) and 1.80 Goals Against Average (GAA).

Those numbers do not even tell the whole story, given that he had a major hiccup in Game 3 of the last series against the New Jersey Devils. If you exclude that performance, Andersen is 5-0 with a .955 SV%.

The Hurricanes have an elite two-way team in front of Andersen. Since the Christmas break, the Canes rank first in the league at 5-on-5 in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60).

Across the ice, Sergei Bobrovsky has been arguably just as good, despite the worse numbers. Through 10 appearances between the pipes this postseason, Bobrovsky is 7-2 with a .918 SV% and 2.82 GAA.

Additionally, those strong numbers came against an offensive juggernaut in the Toronto Maple Leafs and a Boston Bruins team that had the best regular season in NHL history.

Martin Necas Fewer Than 3 Shots on Goal

Winger Teuvo Teravainen’s return is the big news surrounding Carolina this week. He is expected to skate on the left side of the Jordan Staal/Martin Necas line. While Teravainen is a solid two-way player, his offensive creation for others lacks.

Prior to his hand injury, Teravainen skated alongside Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis on the first line. In the 11 games leading up to his injury, Aho and Jarvis each registered three or more shots on goal just three times.

So, is it possible that Necas falls beneath that threshold as well? The oddsmakers think it is a possibility, considering that his shot total is at 2.5 despite achieving at least three shots on goal in eight of his past 11 contests.

While Necas did not skate on the same line as Teravainen, Necas stayed under 2.5 shots in 10 of the 15 games prior to Teravainen’s injury. It will be interesting to keep an eye on how many shots these offenses muster in this contest.

The play style dynamic of this series will be worth monitoring, considering that both teams love to dump and chase. We could see a lot of puck flipping back-and-forth, which could lead to lower shot totals in this series.

Necas has registered two or fewer shots on goal in 14 of his 17 career games against the Panthers.

Matthew Tkachuk More Than 3.5 Hits

Matthew Tkachuk is an absolute wrecking ball out on the ice. He is developing into one of the best two-way forwards on the planet, and Florida leans on him heavily in each contest.

Not only can Tkachuk record north of 100 points, but his physicality separates him from other elite scorers. This season, he finished third among Panthers forwards in hits.

He averaged 4.4 hits per game during Florida’s second-round series victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. We should expect to see Tkachuk skate north of 20 minutes in this game, so he will have more than enough opportunities to make his presence felt against a strong Canes team.

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