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Connor McDavid, Goalies in Spotlight in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

Goaltending could be very important to your NHL betting when the Florida Panthers host the Edmonton Oilers for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.

Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky is a Vezina Trophy finalist after a strong regular season and has allowed one goal in the final game of each series. Edmonton’s Stuart Skinner is 6-2 with a .919 save percentage in the postseason since being benched in the Western Conference semifinals.

Connor McDavid, Goalies in Spotlight in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final
Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers - Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images/AF

Bobrovsky must deal with a lethal Oilers offense. Connor McDavid leads the playoffs with 31 points for Edmonton while Leon Draisaitl has 28 and defenseman Evan Bouchard 27. Oilers wing Zach Hyman boasts a league-best 14 goals in the postseason.

Skinner must continue his confident play after giving up just four goals in his past three games. He faces a Florida offense that counters well and forechecks teams to death. The 25-year-old is likely the key to your over/under bets (5 ½) at the sportsbook.

The Panthers are favored to win Game 1 at -140 while you get +120 if you like Edmonton. The odds are identical to win the series.



Oilers vs Panthers Game Information

  • Game: Oilers vs Panthers
  • Location: Amerant Arena, Sunrise, Fla.
  • Day/Time: Saturday, June 8, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Oilers vs Panthers Live Stream: NHL.com


Oilers vs Panthers Odds and Spreads


  • Under bettors are 5-1 in the last six Florida games and 59-37-3 on the season if you bet online.
  • The Panthers won both meetings this season, but the Oilers have won in three of the last four trips to Sunrise.
  • Edmonton’s Bouchard had six points in the last four games of the conference finals.
  • Florida’s Carter Verheaghe had three goals and two assists in two games versus the Oilers this season.
  • Edmonton has the best power-play (37.3 percent) and penalty-killing unit (93.9) in the playoffs.


McDavid’s Time to Shine Under Bright Lights

Edmonton’s superstar center had some injury concerns late in the regular season and managed just two goals in the first 12 games of the playoffs.

But McDavid helped carry the Oilers into the finals with eight points in his last four games, including a highlight-reel goal in the deciding Game 6 win over Dallas.

The 27-year-old has led the league in scoring five times and won three Hart Trophies, but will be making his Stanley Cup Final debut. McDavid boasts 106 points in the postseason over 67 games.


Florida defensemen Gustav Forsling and Aaron Ekblad will most likely get plenty of time against McDavid’s line with Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but Leon Draisaitl has been centering a strong second unit with Dylan Holloway and Evander Kane.

Those matchups will be key when you bet on NHL.


Bet Panthers Captain Barkov to Become Key Figure

Florida center Aleksander Barkov has put up 17 points in the playoffs, just two behind Matthew Tkachuk for the team lead. But his best work comes on the other side of the ice.

Barkov may be just as important to the Panthers’ defense corps in limiting the Edmonton offense. The 28-year-old center won his second Selke trophy as the league’s top defensive forward recently and often plays against the top lines.


Barkov is +400 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in the NHL future odds, which seems up for grabs if the Panthers can take the series. He has six power-play assists and three game-winning goals in the postseason.

Coach Paul Maurice will likely start Barkov between Verhaeghe and Sam Reinhart (eight playoff goals), but he often shuffles his lines.



Bet ‘Bob’ Over Skinner

Skinner certainly has found his top form, especially in Game 6 against Dallas when he stopped 33 shots.

Until he shows he can do it against the tireless Florida offense, you would be best to put your money on the veteran Bobrovsky to be calmer in Game 1 and bet the over.

The 35-year-old Bobrovsky will play in his 88th playoff game on Saturday and is 41-40 in 81 starts – 24 of those wins coming the last two seasons.


Skinner owns an .891 save percentage in 28 playoff games after his recent hot streak.



Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.


Questions of the Day

What player on either team has the most experience in the finals?

Corey Perry. The 39-year-old Edmonton forward is on his fifth different team to make the Cup finals.

Who led Florida in points during last year’s finals loss to Vegas ?

Sam Bennett and Brandon Montour. Bennett and Montour each had four points in the five-game series.

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