The NHL is set up with a great night of action throughout Saturday. Eleven games are up on the board throughout April 24. One of these matchups will be between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers. These two teams have been great throughout this season and will look for a big two points. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
Carolina has earned a record of 31-10-5 throughout this season, which has them in the top spot of the Central Division. The Hurricanes have a slight lead on Florida and Tampa Bay and will look to extend that in this one. Carolina has won two games in a row and four of their last five. The Hurricanes will look to extend that winning streak in this one.
The Panthers have put up a record of 30-13-5 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in second place of the Central Division. Florida is coming off a loss in their last game, which ended a three game winning streak. The Panthers are only two points behind the Hurricanes and can tie it in this one. Florida will look to earn a big win at home in this one.
These two teams have been great in the Central Division this season, which should lead to a great game in this one. Carolina has been taken the top spot in the division and are looking to hold on to that tight lead. The Hurricanes have been strong against Florida this season and will need to keep that up on Saturday night.
The Hurricanes and the Panthers have met up seven times throughout this season. The first two games were on February 17 and 27. Jonathan Huberdeau had two goals and an assist in the first game as Florida won 4-3 in overtime. Brett Pesce had two assists on the night in the second game to lift Carolina to a 4-3 win in the shootout.
The third and fourth game of the season series were on March 1 and 7. Martin Necas had a goal and two assists in the third game as the Hurricanes won 3-2 in overtime. Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist in the fourth game as Carolina earned another win. James Reimer stopped 21 of 23 shots as the Hurricanes won 4-2.
Carolina hosted the fifth and sixth game of the season series on April 6 and 8. Sebastian Aho had three assists, while Jordan Staal had two goals in the fifth game. The Hurricanes won 5-2 on the night. Martin Necas and Vincent Trocheck both had a goal and an assist in the sixth game. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped all 24 shots he faced as Carolina won 3-0.
The seventh game of the season series was in Florida on April 22. Aleksander Barkov had two goals on the night, which was not enough for the Panthers. Martin Necas had three assists on the night, while Sebastian Aho had two goals on the night. Nedeljkovic had 32 saves on 34 shots as the Hurricanes earned a 4-2 win on the night.
The Hurricanes have been dangerous on both sides of special teams this season. Carolina has scored on 38 of their 138 power play chances, which is a 27.5 percent power play. The Hurricanes have killed off 127 of their opponents 151 power play attempts, which is an 84.1 percent kill rate. Carolina will look to keep up their special teams success in this one.
Florida has been solid on the power play this season. The Panthers have capitalized on 33 of their 159 power play opportunities, which is a 20.8 percent success rate. Florida’s penalty kill has struggled a bit this season. The Panthers have given up 29 power play goals on 141 penalties against, which is a 79.4 percent penalty kill.
Carolina has been better on special teams throughout this season. The Hurricanes scored two shorthanded goals in their last game against Florida. The Panthers need to make more out of their man advantages in this one. Carolina has taken a lot of penalties this season and will need to stay out of the box in this one.
I expect James Reimer to get the start between the pipes for Carolina in this one. Reimer has played in 20 games this season, going 14-5-1 through his games played. He has posted a .907 save percentage and a GAA of 2.68. Reimer’s last start was against the Detroit Red Wings where he stopped 27 of 29 shots in the losing effort.
Sergei Bobrovsky will likely get the nod in the crease for the Panthers on Saturday night. Bobrovsky has started in 27 game this season, going 17-8-2. He has put up a save percentage of .908 and a 2.83 GAA in his starts this season. Bobrovsky finished with 25 saves on 28 shots in his last start against the Carolina Hurricanes, which was not enough for the win.
These two goalies have been solid throughout this season. Both goalies have put up similar numbers throughout this season and will look to earn a big win in this one. Both goalies are coming off losses in their start and will look to bounce back in this one. If either team can put pressure on early, it could be enough for a win in this one.
The Hurricanes have dominated the season series against Florida so far. I think that the Panthers will be able to bounce back in this one. Florida is coming off a tough loss to Carolina on Thursday night, but I think they can bounce back in this one. The Panthers will need Bobrovsky to step up and take advantage of the power play in this one though.
BetOnline has Carolina listed as a -125 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Hurricanes will win this game around 55.6 percent of the time. Carolina and Florida are fighting for the top spot in the Central, which makes me think this line should be closer to even. As home underdogs, I really like the value on the Panthers.