Florida Panthers vs Carolina Hurricanes Prediction (1/18/14)
Our free NHL pick of the day comes in the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes match-up. The puck drops at 7:00 pm est
If you’re expecting exciting power play hockey, don’t watch this game. Florida is last in the NHL at 9.2 percent with the man advantage and Carolina isn’t much better, 25th in the league at 14.6 percent. I don’t expect special teams to play a role in today’s free NHL winner.
The Panthers have continued their win-one, lose-one style to start 2014 and as of right now they are “expected” to win tonight’s game if they continue that format. Coming off of a 3-0 loss to San Jose.
The Hurricanes have not played since a 2-0 loss to Calgary on Monday. How do you lose to the lowest scoring team in the NHL?
Coach Kirk Muller plans to reunite Eric Staal, Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty, who returned to action Monday after missing eight games following an appendectomy, to try to get the offense going.
Unfortunately, it will not work. Semin was paid, he no longer cares.
Carolina is 3-for-17 on the power play its past five games. Removing a 2-for-6 performance with the man advantage in a 6-1 rout of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 9, they’re 1-for-11 over that stretch.
Cam Ward has missed the last six games with a lower-body injury, leaving his status for Saturday in doubt. Anton Khudobin, who made 27 saves against the Flames, has gone 4-2-0 with a 2.00 GAA while starting every game during Ward’s absence.
Carolina is 12-4-5 when Jeff Skinner records at least one point compared to 3-8-3 when he doesn’t.
I’ve decided to back Florida in this match-up solely because of Tim Thomas. He has helped this team stay in games and gives them a chance to win almost every night. It does scare me however that Carolina will come out of the gates strong just because of their dry offense as of late.
But I don’t expect them to play a full 60 minutes under that pace. So expect the Canes to get the early lead but with the Cats finding a way to clip them in the end.
Florida Panthers +130 to win $130
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