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NHL · 1 week ago

NHL Playoffs: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers Game 4 Betting Preview & Picks

Grant White

In what could be the least compelling Conference Finals in NHL history, the Florida Panthers could sweep the Carolina Hurricanes out of the postseason. The wild card Panthers have won the first three games of the series, outscoring the Metropolitan Division leaders 6-3. As implied, all three contests were decided by one goal. Florida took the first two in overtime before shutting out the Canes 1-0 on Monday night.

Buy or Sell: Panthers Win Stanley Cup

Although the outcomes favor the Panthers, the metrics paint a different picture. Carolina has been the superior team from the outset of the series, and we don’t expect them to go down without a fight.

Hurricanes @ Panthers Game Information

  • Location: FLA Live Arena | Sunrise, Florida
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. ET | TV: TNT, Sportsnet

The Hurricanes have dictated play from the outset of this series. Carolina has posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in all three contests, extending its run of improved play to five straight. As usual, the systematic Canes are dominating play on both ends of the ice. 

Thanks to a four-overtime series opener and another extra-time contest in Game 2, the Hurricanes per game metrics are inflated. Still, they remain on the elite end of the spectrum when adjusted for game length. Carolina is averaging 11.7 high-danger and 22.0 scoring chances per 60 minutes. Likewise, their defensive metrics remain intact, with Florida averaging 9.6 quality opportunities and 19.0 scoring chances

More importantly, the Hurricanes have out-chanced their opponents in each of the past two games, reserving their best efforts for when their back was against the wall. As the visitors, Carolina limited the Panthers to three high-danger chances in Game 3. Scoring opportunities were equally hard to come by, with Florida mustering just ten chances despite having last change.

Hurricanes @ Panthers Odds on FanDuel

  • Spread: Hurricanes +1.5 (-280) | Panthers -1.5 (+225)
  • Moneyline: Hurricanes -110 | Panthers -110
  • Total: OVER 5.5 (+104) | UNDER 5.5 (-128)

Sergei Bobrovsky’s path toward regression is analogous to the Panthers as a team. The Russian netminder has been on a downward spiral over the past few seasons and didn’t even open the playoffs as the starter. Nevertheless, he stepped in against the Boston Bruins and has relished the moment. But he’s reached a tipping point in his metrics, suggesting that a correction phase is imminent. 

NHL Conn Smythe Power Rankings

Bobrovsky ended the regular season with a .901% save percentage. Moreover, that was the third time over the past four seasons in which the former Vezina-winner has posted a rating below .906%. However, his postseason run has been nothing if not unsustainable. Coming off a shutout performance, Bobrovsky has elevated his save percentage to .935%, second-best among goalies with at least eight starts. The Panthers netminder has increased his metrics beyond his normal ranges, putting him on an inevitable path with regression.

Hurricanes @ Panthers Picks

  • Hurricanes -110
  • Teuvo Teravainen Any Time Goal Scorer +350

For the first time in this series, the Hurricanes are underdogs. The Panthers have exhausted their puck luck throughout the postseason and are underserving of their status as favorites. We’re using this spot to back the visitors, expecting them to give the hosts more than they can handle. 

More Game 4 Best Bets

Scoring depth has been the Canes’ biggest advantage throughout the postseason, and they’ll need all hands on deck on Wednesday night. Teuvo Teravainen hadn’t played since Game 2 of the first round, returning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Since returning, Teravainen has resumed his spot on the team’s powerplay, recording shots in all three games. 

Teravainen has a 64.6% expected goals-for rating and a .970 on-ice PDO, making him the perfect buy-low candidate in the any-time goal scorer market. We’re betting he snaps out of his postseason rut and helps the Hurricanes extend this series by at least one game.

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