Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes Betting Preview

The Eastern Conference Finals of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin on Thursday night, and it isn’t the matchup that was anticipated. The Florida Panthers will take on the Carolina Panthers in a matchup of old rivals.

Florida was the final team to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, but they have looked ready for their moment. The Panthers pulled off a massive upset against the Boston Bruins in the first round, and they have just kept on winning.

Carolina won the Metropolitan Division by one point this season, and they have enjoyed home court advantage in the postseason. The Hurricanes have emerged as the top betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup.

The Carolina Hurricanes are the moneyline betting favorites at -140 over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

Panthers Push the Pace

Florida is a team that averaged over 3.5 goals per game during the regular season, but they also almost gave up that many on the other end. The Panthers have been better on defense in the postseason, but that offense is going to struggle against Carolina.

Matthew Tkachuk had 109 total points during the regular season and he has led the team in the playoffs as well. Florida converts on the power play nearly 25% of the time, and that unit is going to be a big key in this series.

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been terrific throughout the playoffs, but he did struggle at times this season. It’s going to take a complete effort from the Panthers to win this game.

Hurricanes Do it All Well

The Carolina Hurricanes scored 3.2 goals per game this season, and they have been even better than that in these playoffs. Carolina is also one of the best defensive teams in the league, and that trend has continued in the postseason.

Sebastian Aho is usually the best offensive player for the Hurricanes, and he does lead the team with 10 points throughout the playoffs. Carolina has so many weapons on offense though, and they are able to strike from any of the four offensive lines.

It hasn’t mattered who is in the blue paint for the Hurricanes this postseason as they have been shutting opponents down. Carolina will be willing to play fast with Florida because they know that they are the better defensive team.

Hurricanes Slow Down the Panthers

It’s been a fantastic run by the Florida Panthers up to this point, but they are finally going to meet their match in this series. Carolina has looked dominant so far in these playoffs, and they are the much better overall team.

Florida will be trying to speed up the tempo in this game, but they just aren’t a team that can shut down opponents. The Panthers will create scoring opportunities, but they will also give the Hurricanes some open looks.

Bet the Carolina Hurricanes -140 as they take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

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