The Carolina Hurricanes will collide with the Florida Panthers in a Central Division showdown on Thursday night. The Panthers stand atop the Central Division with 56 points on the year. The Hurricanes won Tuesday’s clash against the Panthers by a 4-2 score. Carolina leads the season series 4-1.
Panthers Open Road Trip with Loss to Carolina
The Florida Panthers continue a big six-game road trip on Thursday night. They opened the trip with a tough 4-2 road loss against the Hurricanes to end a remarkable six-game winning streak. Despite the loss, the Panthers are still one point ahead of the Hurricanes in the division.
Aleksander Barkov continues to dazzle, collecting eight points in his last five games overall including two points in Tuesday’s win. The 25-year old center is having a tremendous season, posting 42 points and has six points in five games against the Hurricanes this year. Jonathan Huberdeau has also been productive against the Hurricanes, recording three goals along with two assists. The 27-year old winger has cooled off a bit recently however the veteran has tallied 42 points on the year. Florida has several defensemen who contribute offensively including MacKenzie Weegar who has 24 points.
Barky being Barky 💪 pic.twitter.com/S5VBv0zRgH— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) April 7, 2021
The Panthers had Sergei Bobrovsky in the crease in Tuesday’s win. They have been alternating between him and Chris Driedger. Bobrovsky has been terrific recently and owns a 2.80 GAA and a .910 save %. Driedger has the better numbers, filing a 2.05 GAA and an 11-4-2 record. Florida is scoring an average of 3.3 goals per game, landing them 5th in the NHL. They are allowing an average of 2.7 goals, placing them 11th overall.
Hurricanes Target Third Straight Win
The Carolina Hurricanes are targeting their fifth win against Florida this season. They have now won four consecutive bouts against the Panthers after Tuesday’s home triumph. The Canes are one of the best home teams in the league, losing only two home games in regulation all year.
Sebastian Aho put an end to a four-game point drought with two assists in Tuesday’s win. The talented right-winger has done big damage against Florida, registering six points in the five meetings and has 36 points on the season.
Vincent Trochek has been one of the most consistent offensive producers in the league. The 27-year old center has netted three goals this month and has 15 goals along with 16 assists on the year. Andrei Svechnikov has gone four consecutive games without finding the back of the net and earned an assist on Tuesday. The 20-year old has 27 points.
Jordo looked like a high schooler playing with middle schoolers on this one 💪 pic.twitter.com/9uupB4SBBA— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) April 7, 2021
The Hurricanes started Petr Mrazek between the pipes in Tuesday’s loss. Mrazek made his return to action last weekend after missing over two months due to injury. The veteran goalie features a minuscule 0.99 GAA and a .962 save % in five games. Reimer hasn’t been nearly as sharp, posting a 2.71 GAA, although he does have a .905 save %. Carolina stands 12th with 3.2 goals per game this season. They are conceding an average of 2.4 goals, good for 5th.
The Florida Panthers are:
- 0-4 in their last 4 games against the Hurricanes.
The Carolina Hurricanes are:
- 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on one day of rest.
- 10-3 in their last 13 games following a win.
- 6-2 in their last 8 games overall.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Hurricanes are dominating the Panthers this season, winning four of the five meetings including a 4-2 win on Tuesday night. Carolina has now won three out of their last four clashes and is sporting a dominant 13-2-3 record on home ice this season.
Furthermore, the Panthers are not nearly as dangerous on the road where they have only won two out of their last six clashes overall. Florida has not been able to solve the Hurricanes goaltending this season either, netting only a combined seven goals in the last three meetings. Florida is also playing without top defensemen Aaron Ekblad which has an impact against a good team such as Carolina.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Hurricanes have no issuing generating offense against this Florida squad. They have scored at least three goals in all five meetings including four goals in Tuesday’s winning effort. The over is 3-1-1 in the five meetings between these foes this season.
In addition, the Panthers should contribute towards the total. While they haven’t been able to score enough to beat this Carolina team, they have tallied at least two goals in all five games. The over is also 10-4-1 in the Panthers’ last 15 road games.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The over on the Hurricanes team total is a solid prop bet. The Hurricanes have accumulated a total of 15 goals in their last four games against the Panthers and Carolina now owns the best power play in the NHL. Florida has allowed three or more goals in five out of their last six road games.
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am opting for the under on the first period total. The Panthers' lowest-scoring period is by far the first where they only have 32 goals on the season. The Hurricanes have only posted 29 goals in the opening frame. It’s also their best defensive period where they have allowed just 20 goals.