The NHL is set up with another great night of action throughout March 23. Five games are up on the board throughout Tuesday night. One of these games will be between the Florida Panthers and the Chicago Blackhawks. These two teams are competing in the Central Division, which should lead to a good game. This one will drop the puck at around 8:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
The Panthers have started out this season with a record of 20-7-4, which has them sitting in second place of the Central Division. Florida is only one point ahead of the Hurricanes and four points behind Tampa Bay. The Panthers are coming off a lost and have lost two of their last three. Florida will look to bounce back in this one.
Chicago has put up a record of 14-13-5 to this point in the season, which has them tied for the fourth seed in the Central Division. The Blackhawks have lost four games in a row and six of their last seven. Chicago has allowed the Blue Jackets to tie them in the standings during this tough stretch. The Blackhawks will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday night.
These two teams have been strong throughout this season, but both teams have struggled a bit as of late. The Blackhawks have not gotten anything going as of late. Florida has been dominant against Chicago this season and will look to keep it up. If either team can come out hot on Tuesday, they should be able to grab a win in this one.
The Panthers and the Blackhawks have met up four times throughout this season. Florida hosted the first game on January 17. Duncan Keith had two assists, but it was not enough for Chicago. Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists, while Patric Hornqvist and Eetu Luostarinen each had a goal and an assist. Chris Driedger stopped 28 of 30 shots as the Panthers earned a 5-2 win.
The second game of the season series stayed in Florida on January 19. Dominik Kubalik had two goals and an assist to help the Blackhawks force overtime. Patric Hornqvist and Carter Verhaeghe each scored two goals on the night. Frank Vatrano scored the game winner in overtime to lift the Panthers to a 5-4 win at home.
Florida hosted the third game of the season series on March 13. Adam Boqvist and Brandon Hagel each scored for Chicago, but it was not enough. Aleksander Barkov had two goals and an assist, while Carter Verhaeghe had a goal and an assist. Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 30 saves on 32 shots to help lead the Panthers to a 4-2 win.
The fourth and most recent game of the season series stayed in Florida on March 15. Brandon Hagel, Patrick Kane and Philipp Kurashev all scored for the Blackhawks in this one. Aleksander Barkov had a goal and two assists. Gustav Forsling, Carter Verhaeghe and Alexander Wennberg each had a goal and an assist as the Panthers earned a 6-3 win.
Florida has been strong throughout this season on special teams. The Panthers have capitalized on 25 of their 98 power play chances, which is a 25.5 percent power play. Florida has also killed off 77 of their opponents 95 power play attempts, which is an 81.1 percent kill rate. The Panthers will look to keep this going on special teams in this one.
The Blackhawks have been strong on the power play throughout this season. Chicago has scored on 28 of their 100 power play opportunities, which is a 28 percent success rate. The Blackhawks have struggled a bit on the penalty kill though. Chicago has given up 27 power play goals on their 98 penalties against, which is a 72.5 percent penalty kill.
These two teams have been strong on the power play throughout this season, but it is the Panthers penalty kill that has given them the edge in this one. If either team can get going on the power play in this one, it could help them bounce back with a win. Chicago will need their penalty kill to step up if they want to end this losing streak.
Sergei Bobrovsky will likely get the start in the crease for the Panthers in this one. Bobrovsky has started in 18 games this season, going 12-4-2. He has put up a save percentage of .903 and a 2.97 GAA in his games played. Bobrovsky finished with 19 saves on 23 shots in his last start against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which was not enough for the win.
I expect Kevin Lankinen to get the nod in the net for Chicago on Tuesday night. Lankinen has earned a record of 10-7-4 throughout his 21 starts this season. He has posted a .914 save percentage and a GAA of 2.87. Lankinen’s last start was also against the Lightning, stopping 19 of 22 shots in the losing effort. The Blackhawks will look for Lankinen to bounce back.
Lankinen has been slightly better in the stats this season, but he has lost five of his last six starts. The Blackhawks will look to give Lankinen some more help in this one. Lankinen has had five days off entering this matchup and will look to use that to his advantage. Bobrovsky has been strong as of late, winning six of his last eight.
These two teams have been solid throughout this season, but Chicago has lost four games in a row. The Blackhawks have lost all four of their games against Florida so far this season. The Panthers have been strong throughout this season as well, but I think Chicago can earn a big win in this one. The Blackhawks will look for Lankinen to come out strong after some rest days, which I think will give them the edge.
BetOnline has Florida listed as a -145 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Panthers will win this game around 59.2 percent of the time. I think that this line makes sense with how Florida has played against Chicago. The Blackhawks are finally hosting the Panthers in this one though and I think they will earn a big win to end the losing streak.