Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our predictions for each one, breaking down head-to-head and other factors that may play in. We also have a featured game of the day, which is considered must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the Carolina Hurricanes vs Florida Panthers. Keep checking our NHL predictions throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Carolina Hurricanes vs Florida Panthers
Series: Hurricanes 0-2 Panthers
Our featured and only game of NHL predictions has the surprising Panthers on the edge of a 3-0 series lead. None of the experts thought the Panthers would continue their roll from the opening round. However, Florida has knocked out the prospective favourite in each of the first two rounds. Could a third straight stunning knockout be on the way? Sergei Bobrovsky has played like the number one cop in town with some great performances in goal. Matthew Tkachuk continues to play like a Conn Smythe Trophy favourite as well with both overtime-winners. However, this could be a different series had the Hurricanes gotten one or both of those overtime-goals.
Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour made a goaltending change with Antti Raanta in goal. The Hurricanes offence hasn’t really gotten going in this series despite the return of Teuvo Teravainen to the lineup. However, a return to the scoresheet would be a big help. A penalty by Jesperi Kotkaniemi gave Florida the power play chance it needed to cash in the game-winner. The Canes have played well, but have nothing to show for it. However, the club has been solid on the road this post-season.
Everything seems to be trending against Carolina, but it should rebound to get back into the series.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 4-2.
Main photo by: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports