The Chicago Blackhawks play host to the slumping Florida Panthers in a Central Division showdown on Thursday night. Florida is third in the standings despite dropping two straight and three of four.
The Panthers are one point behind Carolina and six points behind division-leading Tampa Bay. Chicago is one spot, but nine points, behind Florida in the Central Division standings.
This matchup marks the second straight meeting after Chicago recorded a narrow 3-2 home win on Tuesday night. Let’s find out where the best NHL sportsbook betting value lies in this affair. The NHL odds for this Thursday night division matchup go live following Wednesday’s slate of action.
Florida Panthers at Chicago Blackhawks
When: Thursday, March 25, 2021, at 8:00 PM ET
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
TV: NBCSCH, FS-F
Panthers Look To Get Back To Winning Ways
Florida will be looking to get back to the winning ways that saw the franchise capture six of seven before dropping three of its last four. The Panthers put up a good effort the last time out but came up just short against the Blackhawks in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss.
Anton Stralman and Alex Wennberg scored for the Panthers as captain Aleksander Barkov sat out with a lower-body injury. Barkov has six goals and 12 assists in his last 13 games, including two assists during Sunday’s 5-3 loss at Tampa Bay.
“It was tough to watch the beginning of the game,” Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. “You know you lose a key guy, it’s a good test on the whole group there, but certainly you know the impact that he has on the team. It was noticeable there.”
Florida ranks seventh in scoring (3.3 gpg) and second in shot attempts per game (34.7). The Panthers rank a decent 14th in goals allowed (2.8 gpg) despite ranking 18th in shot attempts allowed (30.4) and 20th in penalty killing (80.6%). Florida is 10-4-1 on the road this season.
Blackhawks Desperate to Double Down on Panthers
The Blackhawks will be desperate to pick up another win after snapping their four-game losing streak on Tuesday. Goalie Kevin Lankinen made 33 saves and Patrick Kane had two assists.
“That brings a lot of confidence when you practice something and it develops in your game and you feel really good out there,” Lankinen said. “It was good. It was a good night.”
Dominik Kubalik, Pius Suter, and Carl Soderberg all scored for Chicago in the opener of a six-game homestand. It was the Blackhawks’ first victory against the Panthers in five games.
Chicago ranks 16th in scoring (2.9 gpg), but also ranks a discouraging 25th in goals allowed (3.2 gpg) and 31st in shot attempts allowed per game (33.9). The Blackhawks have gone 8-4-2 at home.
Check out our value-packed 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Odds.
Pick the Panthers To Rebound
The Panthers are 8-1 in their last 9 games after scoring two goals or less in their previous game. Florida has also gone 9-4 in its last 13 road games. The Blackhawks have gone 8-2 in their last 10 home dates against the Panthers. Unfortunately, Chicago has struggled to record consecutive wins by going 0-4 in their last four games following a win. The home team in this rivalry is 5-0 in the last five meetings, but I’m backing Florida to snap that trend.