The Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers meet at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise on Thursday night. The Penguins have already dropped the puck on their season. They came out guns blazing against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
The Penguins dispatched the Stanley Cup champs by a score of 6-2 in impressive fashion. Six different Penguins were able to get on the board with a goal. It was a quiet first period, as the teams went into the break deadlocked with no goals.
Not your average 'beach day' ? pic.twitter.com/L0qvepSep9
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 14, 2021
However, the Penguins shook the rust off in the 2nd and put 2 goals in, and then carried on with 4 goals in the 3rd period to bury the Lightning. Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn found the back of the net in the 3rd for the Bolts for some window dressing for the home team.
The Penguins are back on the ice Thursday night for their second outing of the 2021-22 campaign. Joel Quenneville’s Panthers will drop the puck on their season tonight. This is their first attempt this season after what I would call a success last year.
The Panthers didn’t do what they set out to accomplish in the playoffs, but it was an exciting regular season in Sunrise. They finished with a record of 37-14-5 and 79 points for a point back of the Carolina Hurricanes. It was an exciting offense that knew how to score the puck consistently.
The elephant in the locker room on this team has been the performance of goaltender Sergie Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky has not lived up to expectations in Sunrise since signing with the Panthers in 2019 after a successful career with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
I could go on and on, but there’s no secret what has to happen if the Panthers are going to get to the next level and go on a deep playoff run. Bobrovsky must live up to his contract and get back into the elite form he was in at Columbus. Tristan Jarry and Bobrovsky are expected to receive the starting nods between the pipes. Head below for our free Penguins vs. Panthers pick on October 14, 2021.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Florida Panthers Live Odds and Betting History:
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Pittsburgh Penguins||+1.5 (-153)||+162||Over 6.5 (+103)|
|Florida Panthers||-1.5 (+133)||-180||Under 6.5 (-113)|
|Team Data||Pittsburgh Penguins||Florida Panthers|
|Goals Per Game||6.0||0.0|
|Goals Against Per Game||2.0||0.0|
|Shots Per game||35.0||0.0|
|Shots Against Per Game||28.0||0.0|
Penguins vs. Panthers Prediction:
Sergei Bobrovsky has not lived up to expectations since signing his big deal with the Panthers. Is he dealing with the same defense he had in Columbus back then?
No. However, Bobrovsky is making the kind of money where as a goaltender you have to steal games every week and outshine the defense.
Bobrovsky posted a 2.58 and a 0.913 save percentage in his final season with the Blue Jackets. This was a pull back from a 2.06 and 2.42 GAA in the previous two seasons.
With the Panthers, Bobrovsky immediately saw regression, as he had a 3.23 GAA and 0.90 save percentage in 2019-20.
There was some improvement last season for Bobrovsky, but not enough given what his bank account is earning. Bobrovsky recorded a 2.91 GAA and 0.906 save percentage through 30 starts.
The Panthers finished 29th in the NHL with 3.25 goals against per game two years ago, and then improved to 2.7 goals against, so that’s a good step forward. Their offense netted 3.36 goals per game for fourth last year.
Bobrovsky, sorry bud, but you’re holding the team back. He’s recorded a 2.83 GAA and 0.908 save percentage in 27 games versus the Pens in his career.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Florida Panthers Betting Trends:
- 4-1 in their previous five games as an underdog
- 5-2 overall in their previous seven games as an underdog on the road
- 19-9 overall in their previous 28 games after a win
- 9-4 overall in their previous 13 games on the road
- OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games on the road
- 12-3 overall in their previous 15 games at home
- 3-9 overall in their previous 12 games versus the Eastern Conference
- OVER is 4-1-1 in their previous six games as a favorite
- OVER is 4-1-1 in their previous six games versus the Metropolitan
The Penguins were second in the NHL with 3.45 goals scored per game a season ago. Only the Avalanche scored more per game than the Pens. After a low start against the Lightning, they got going and poured it on for 6 goals in the season opener.
Bobrovsky and the Panthers could have a tough time handling the Penguins quick strike offense in this one. Tristan Jarry has had a horrible history against the Panthers, though. This has been one of his worst teams.
The Panthers have gotten to Jarry for a 3.66 GAA and 0.894 save percentage in three starts. The fourth-best offense in the NHL from last season is largely together, so the Panthers shouldn’t see much if any regression this year. At plus money in a 4-3 game, I like the OVER to get there.