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Odds Are Panthers Scratch Out Home Victory in Game 1

The Florida Panthers aim to make it easier on themselves this time around when they face the visiting Boston Bruins as the favorite in the NHL odds for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday.

The Panthers fell behind three games to one before rallying to beat the favored Bruins in the first round last season. Florida has the first two games at home this season and it is 29-13-2 at Amerant Bank Arena – 3-0 in the playoffs.

Odds Are Panthers Scratch Out Home Victory in Game 1
Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Boston might be up against it in Game 1 after surviving 2-1 in overtime on David Pastrnak’s goal against Toronto on Saturday. The Bruins had to fight off a challenge for seven games while Florida finished a 4-1 series win over Tampa Bay on April 29.

However, the Panthers have lost all four games to Boston this season. The Bruins are a juicy +165 to win the series in the Las Vegas odds, while Florida is -190 to move on.

 

Bruins vs Panthers Game Information

  • Game: Bruins vs Panthers
  • Location: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise, Fla.
  • Day/Time: Monday, May 6, 8 p.m. ET
  • Bruins vs Panthers Live Stream: NHL.com

 

Bruins vs Panthers Odds and Spreads

 

  • Under bettors were 5-0-1 at the sportsbook in the last six games of the Bruins’ opening-round series.
  • Florida has hit the game total over in just 40 of its last 99 contests.
  • Boston has only covered the third-period puck line in 24 of its past 79 outings.
  • Florida forward Carter Verhaeghe recorded at least a point in five straight games to start the playoffs, tying a franchise record.
  • There were 53 goals scored in the seven-game series between the two teams in 2022-23, but the under is 3-1-0 in their meetings this season.

 

Bruins Offense Needs Juice

Boston relied a lot on its defense in the regular season, but was in the top half of the league in scoring.

The Bruins started their epic series with Toronto by scoring 14 goals in the first four games to take a 3-1 lead. Boston managed just four goals in the final three contests, but survived with strong defense and goaltending in Game 7.

Coach Jim Montgomery liked his team’s patience in Game 7, but it will need to create more chances to score. The Bruins had just one shot deep into the second period in Game 6.

Brad Marchand had eight points to lead the team. Jake DeBrusk had five points in the first three games and none in the last four.

 

Barkov Cornerstone For Panthers

Aleksander Barkov can put up points, but his greatest value for Florida at this time of the season is on the defensive end.

Barkov was named a finalist for the Selke Trophy on Sunday as the best defensive forward – an award he won in 2021. The 28-year-old Finn had 80 points in the regular season with a +33 rating and helped end the Tampa Bay series with two goals and an assist in Game 5.

Barkov had six points in the series against the Bruins last season and will be prominent in this one as he tries to limit Pastrnak and others. Barkov was key in holding regular-season scoring leader Nikita Kucherov without a goal in the first round.

The under looks like a good call with players like Barkov on the ice for your sport betting. But over 5½ is a value wager in Game 1 at +105.

 

Lineup Changes Expected

Both teams suffered injuries in the first round, but their depth did the job.

Boston used 22 skaters in the opening series. Veteran forward James van Riemsdyk missed the first two games, but had a goal and two assists in the final four.

Florida forward Sam Bennett, who scored 64 goals the last three regular seasons and adds a physical element, is likely out another week with an upper-body injury.

But the biggest change could come in net if Linus Ullmark starts over Jeremy Swayman, who was outstanding with a .950 save percentage in the first round but may need rest. However, Ullmark is 3-0-0 versus Florida this season if you bet online.

 

 

Questions of the Day

Which team has the better power play?


Boston. The Bruins were 6-for-17 in the first round and Florida 3-for-13. The Panthers had a slight edge in the regular season.

Has Sergei Bobrovsky had success versus the Bruins?


No. The Florida goalie is 4-11-4 lifetime against the Bruins. He did go 3-1 in the series last season, but allowed 16 total goals.

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