The Florida Panthers already have upset Boston and Toronto in these Stanley Cup playoffs and now the Panthers take on the Metropolitan Division champion Carolina Hurricanes, the new Cup favorites, in the East Finals starting Thursday night from Raleigh, N.C. The Canes are favored on the NHL odds.
Panthers vs. Hurricanes, Game 1 | 2023 NHL Expert Analysis
How to Bet Florida at Carolina NHL Hockey Odds & TV Info
When: Thursday, 8 PM ET
Where: PNC Arena
Stream: TNT app
Opening NHL Lines: Hurricanes -140, Panthers +130 (total 5.5)
Carolina won the season series 2-1, including a 6-4 road win in the regular-season finale on April 13 to earn the Metropolitan Division title. Brent Burns scored twice and the Hurricanes scored four times in the third period. Frederik Andersen finished with 31 saves. Alex Lyon had 30 saves but likely won’t play in this series.
Why Bet on Florida?
The Panthers crushed the souls of most of Canada by knocking out Toronto, which as the NHL’s longest Stanley Cup drought, in Game 5 of the East semifinals with a 3-2 OT road win last Friday – Florida was 3-0 on the road in that series. An overtime goal from Nick Cousins sent Florida to its first conference Finals appearance in 27 years – and second all-time – as the Panthers became the third wild card team to advance to the conference finals since the wild card format was introduced nearly a decade ago.
Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 50 shots in the clincher. He faced 30 shots in the second and third periods combined, then kicked out another nine in OT before Nick Cousins potted the series winner. Bobrovsky has re-discovered his Vezina-caliber form in the postseason, winning seven of his last eight starts with a 2.47 GAA and .928 save percentage. Bobrovsky became just the second goaltender in franchise history with a 50-save performance in any playoff contest, joining John Vanbiesbrouck (55 in Game 4 of 1996 SCF).
Carter Verhaeghe scored his third goal in potential series-clinching games with the Panthers, tied with Bill Lindsay for the most in franchise history. Only three players have registered more over the past two postseasons: Nathan MacKinnon (6), David Pastrnak (4) and Max Domi (4).
Each of Florida’s past three series-clinching victories have come in overtime (also Game 7 of 2023 R1 & Game 6 of 2022 R1). The Panthers became just the third team in NHL history to record three consecutive series-clinching wins in overtime (spanning postseasons or otherwise). They are the fifth team in NHL history to face a top-four club in each of their first three series of a postseason.
Forward Ryan Lomberg, who has been out since April 23, could be a game-time decision for Game 1 against the Hurricanes. The 28-year-old forward has five shots on goal, 18 PIM and nine hits in four appearances this postseason.
Carolina and Florida are set for their first-ever postseason matchup, marking the fourth time that two teams in the Sunbelt have met in the round before the Final (also LAK–PHX in 2012, ANA–NSH in 2017 & DAL–VGK in 2020).
Bet Panthers to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
Why Bet on Carolina?
The Hurricanes eliminated the Devils in Game 5 last Thursday, 3-2 in overtime on a goal from Jesper Fast, his second OT winner of these playoffs. He now sits one shy of the most in a single playoff year in NHL history, a record shared by Mel Hill (3 in 1939 w/ BOS), Maurice Richard (3 in 1951 w/ MTL) and Corey Perry (3 in 2017 w/ ANA). Fast put up a point in each of Carolina’s five games against New Jersey and finished the series with three goals and three assists.
Carolina is the 12th team in NHL history to have each of their first two series-clinching victories in a playoff year come in overtime and ninth in the League’s expansion era. Frederik Andersen stopped 27 of 29 shots in the clincher. Andersen has seen action in just six games this postseason but has been largely terrific He allowed four goals on 12 shots in Game 3 vs. New Jersey. Yet he responded by stopping 21 of 22 in Game 4 and 27 of 29 in Game 5.
Jordan Martinook had three goals and seven assists in the Devils series, tying Bates Battaglia (4-6—10 in 2002 CSF) and Cory Stillman (3-7—10 in 2006 CF) for the most points in a playoff series in franchise history. Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns each scored a tying goal in Game 5, marking the fifth and sixth tallies by a Carolina defenseman in the series – the most combined total by blueliners in a single series in franchise history.
Carolina earned its 17th all-time series win (of any length) and 16th since the franchise relocated to North Carolina 25 years ago, which also includes five trips to the Conference Finals/Semifinals. The Stars are the only club remaining in the postseason with more series victories through that span (19). Carolina overcame injuries to top forwards Andrei Svechnikov (torn ACL), Max Pacioretty (torn Achilles tendon) and Teuvo Teravainen (fractured hand) to reach the conference final for the first time since 2019.
Eric Staal and Marc Staal of the Panthers will face Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal in the first Stanley Cup playoff series that includes all three brothers. Eric Staal played 12 seasons for the Hurricanes (2003-2016) and won the Stanley Cup with them in 2006.
Florida coach Paul Maurice coached Carolina for 11 seasons over two stints (1997-2003, 2008-2011), including a trip to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final, a five-game loss to the Detroit Red Wings. This will be the first playoff series between the teams.
Bet Hurricanes to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
- Panthers are 10-1 in their last 11 road games.
- Panthers are 7-1 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Hurricanes are 13-6 in their last 19 vs. Atlantic.
- Hurricanes are 19-7 in their last 26 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
- Panthers are 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
Hurricanes 3, Panthers 2
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