The Eastern Conference Finals get underway Thursday night when the Florida Panthers visit the Carolina Hurricanes. Florida, the last team in the playoffs, will look to continue their magical playoff run with an upset over this dominant Carolina team. Below is my NHL pick for the Florida Panthers vs Carolina Hurricanes.
Florida Panthers vs Carolina Hurricanes Betting Pick
The Pick: Carolina Hurricanes -137
This game will be played at PNC Arena at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, 2023.
Why Bet the Carolina Hurricanes:
✅ Carolina has been good these playoffs having won five of their last six games played.
✅ At home, the Hurricanes have won eight of their last nine games.
✅ Florida has lost nine of their last 13 games at PNC Arena.
Florida Panthers on A Magical Run
Florida did not clinch a playoff berth until the final few days of the regular season, but they have taken full advantage of their opportunity. The Panthers started their playoff run by winning in seven games over the Boston Bruins, who had the best regular season in NHL history. Florida next had to play the Toronto Maple Leafs, who just broke their first-round curse, and the Panthers took care of business in five games. It was a dominant showing in the second round by the Panthers and they will need to keep that momentum going against this tough Hurricanes team.
Matthew Tkachuk is having a fantastic postseason as he leads the Panthers with 16 points, 11 assists, and a plus/minus of +10. Brandon Montour has hit a purple patch this postseason as the defenseman leads Florida with six goals in 12 games. Montour scored just 16 goals in 80 regular season games.
The Carolina Panthers Are Favorites
Carolina was one of the best defensive teams during the regular season and that has continued into the playoffs. The Hurricanes opened their playoffs by swiping aside the New York Islanders in six close games. Carolina then played the pesky New Jersey Devils and barely had to break a sweat. The Hurricanes eliminated the Devils in five games with four of those games, three ‘Canes wins and one Jersey win, being blowouts.
Sebastian Aho is leading the way for Carolina with a team high of 10 points and five goals in 11 games. Jordan Martinook leads the way with seven assists and Jacob Slavin is +14.