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Panthers vs. Hurricanes, 8:00 ET
We’ve made it to the Conference Finals in the NHL with a matchup between the Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes. There aren’t too many sports where any team has a chance at almost any time, but hockey is one of them. The second round ended with a couple of losses for us, but the games with the Hurricanes were very profitable for us. Tonight, we get Game 1 between the Panthers and Hurricanes with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line.
How did we get here? Well, the Panthers had a much more interesting road to get into the conference finals than the Hurricanes, but that doesn’t diminish what either team has accomplished. The Panthers started the playoffs against the Bruins, the best regular season team in the history of the NHL. They were down 3-1 in the series then reeled off the last three games in the series, taking down the Bruins in seven games. Their hot play continued as they had three straight wins against the Maple Leafs. They ended up winning the series in five games. The Hurricanes never really have been in jeopardy of losing a series. They went six games against the Islanders but never trailed in that series as they took the first two games and then closed it out in six. Then against the Devils they won the first two and last two games of a five-game set.
One thing that is going for the Panthers right now is they have a very hot goalie. They put Sergei Bobrovsky in the net against the Bruins in Game 3, but his first full game was Game 4. He was basically able to outlast the Bruins as the Panthers offense took over. Then he was able to hold the Maple Leafs to just two goals per game in the second round. Bobrovsky hasn’t played against the Hurricanes this season. In the regular season, the Hurricanes took two of three games between the two squads. The Hurricanes also have a pretty solid goalie situation right now, but in a different way. The are using Frederik Andersen in the net and he has allowed just one goal in four of his six games this postseason. The one game he allowed more than two goals he gave up four in just under 21 minutes.
So which goalie will be hot tonight? I am not really sure. I’d lean towards the Hurricanes. I do think they will come out and blitz the Panthers, but both teams are capable of putting some goals on the board. I try to avoid numbers like -145, but I do think the Hurricanes win. For the purposes of this, I’ll take the over 5.5 goals. Even with some hot goalies, I think we can see six goals in this game.
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