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Two Eastern Conference heavyweights face-off in Raleigh tonight when the Florida Panthers visit the Carolina Hurricanes.

Florida Panthers vs Carolina Hurricanes Prediction: Statement Game for the Canes?

The Hurricanes are home from a four game road trip that saw them go 1-2-1, their latest game was a loss in Minnesota 3-2 on Saturday night. That slump had them fall to 2nd in the Metropolitan Division, three points behind Pittsburgh.

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Florida Panthers vs Carolina Hurricanes Prediction

The Canes have a record of 32-11-3 for 67 points and are led by Sabastian Aho whose 21 goals and 48 points leads the team. Freddy Andersen is having a fantastic year in net, as he has a record of 25-7-2 with a 2.04 GAA and a .929 save percentage along with two shutouts.

The Panthers enter this game not having played since February 1, a 5-2 loss to the Rangers in New York. Florida is second in the Atlantic Division with a record of 32-11-6 for 70 points. Jonathan Huberdeau leads a stout offense with 64 points. The Panthers, amazingly, have eight players that have double-digit goals.

Sergei Bobrovsky is having a stellar year in net as he has a 23-4-3 record with a 2.56 GAA and a .920 save percentage with one shutout. Many thought youngster Spencer Knight would emerge as the number one goalie but Bob has made sure that has not happened.  The Panthers are a much different team on the road this season where they have a record of 9-7-5 and a averaging 3.29 goals per game, a solid number but nowhere close to their league leading 4.73 average at home.

Florida's road power play has struggled as it is ranked 18th at 19.4%. Defensively, on the road, the Cats are allowing 3.14 goals per game and their penalty kill is sixth worst at 74%. At home, the Hurricanes have a record of 16-4-1 and are averaging a fifth best 3.62 goals per game, their home power play is also very good as they are 4th at 28.4% which is a nice matchup against the aforementioned Florida road penalty kill.

Defensively, at home, the Canes are suffocating as they are allowing only 2.24 goals against per game, which is second fewest in the league. Carolina also has the league's second best home penalty kill at 90.7%.

Yes, all these numbers point to the Canes but two more things stand out to me. One being the Panthers have won both head to head meetings this year, a 4-3 overtime win in Raleigh on January 8, and a 5-2 home win on November 6. The second is the Panthers not playing in 15 days, we have seen teams not fare well on long breaks when their opponent has been playing, San Jose and LA both lost in these spits over the last two nights.

The Rangers beat Boston in this spot last night, but the Bruins are depleted. Mix this in with the Canes looking to get back to their winning ways and a revenge spot, I'll take those rare short home price on the Hurricanes tonight.

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Florida Panthers vs Carolina Hurricanes Pick

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Article Author


Born and raised in Philadelphia, Tone has been handicapping the four major sports for over twenty years. An NHL enthusiast, Tone’s expertise lies on the ice. He’s excelled and profited finding the right angles on NHL games, particularly with player props, game props, and game totals. A contributor to several gaming sites, you can follow him on Twitter @TonesTakes.


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