- The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers meet in the 2023 NHL Eastern Conference Finals
- Carolina’s last appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals came in 2019
- Florida last made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016
The 2023 NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Finals are set with the Carolina Hurricanes meeting the Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes finished the year with a 52-21-9 record. That earned the ‘Canes the No. 1 spot in the Metropolitan Division. With their division-winning record, the Hurricanes became the third team since 2013 to win three consecutive division titles. Carolina dispatched the New York Islanders in six games in Round 1. In the second round of the 2023 NHL Playoffs, Carolina eliminated the New Jersey Devils in five games.
The Florida Panthers entered the 2023 NHL playoffs as a wild card team. The club had a 2023 NHL regular season record of 42-32-8. Florida was matched against the record-setting Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2023 NHL postseason. The Panthers eliminated the Bruins in seven games. Florida followed their surprising series win over the Bruins by downing the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games.
This year marks the first time the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers have met in the NHL playoffs.
Before we look at the 2023 NHL Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 Stanley Cup and our tips for betting on the NHL.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers betting picks for NHL Eastern Conference Finals Series
|To Win 2023 NHL Eastern Conference Finals|
Florida Panthers betting breakdown
The key to this series for the Florida Panthers might be the play of resurgent goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky did not start the first round series for the Panthers, but after he replaced Alex Lyons after the first three games against the Bruins, Bobrovsky has played well. He was especially good in the Toronto series, where he allowed only two goals in each of the five games and finished that series with a .943 save percentage. Bobrovsky gives the Panthers a chance to win every game they play.
Matthew Tkachuk, who the Panthers picked up in a trade before the 2023 NHL season began, had a career season in his first year with the team. The 25-year-old was the Panthers’ scoring leader with 109 points. Tkachuk is also the team’s leading scorer in the 2023 NHL playoffs. He has 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists). Two players on the Panthers are tied for the lead in team goal scoring with six goals. Those players are Brandon Montour and Sam Reinhart.
Florida’s power play is operating at 27.6 percent, while the team’s penalty kill is struggling at 65.8 percent. Florida’s penalty kill needs to improve in a big way heading into the Eastern Conference Finals, especially since the team is near the top of the 2023 NHL playoffs in penalty minutes with 167.
Carolina Hurricanes betting breakdown
The Carolina Hurricanes are in the 2023 NHL Eastern Conference Finals despite being without top forwards Andrei Svechnikov, Max Pacioretty, and Teuvo Teravainen. The players who have made up for the loss of that trio are Jordan Martinook, Jesper Fast, and Jordan Staal. As was the case in the first two rounds of the 2023 NHL playoffs, depth is one of the keys to the Hurricanes getting back to the NHL Finals.
Martin Necas paced the Hurricanes in scoring for the 2023 NHL regular season. He led the team with 71 points and had the most assists on the club with 43. The team’s leading goal scorer was Sebastian Aho, with 36. Aho has continued his scoring in the postseason. He leads the ‘Canes in points (10) and goals (5). Martinook also has 10 points during the playoffs, and Fast has five goals.
Frederik Andersen has started the past six games for Carolina in goal. He is 5-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. If Andersen falters, Carolina could go back to Antti Raanta, who started the first five games of the 2023 NHL playoffs for the team. He is 3-2 with a 2.59 GAA and .906 save percentage.
The Carolina power play is average at 18.9 percent in the postseason. As for the club’s penalty kill, the ‘Canes are the best in the league heading into the Conference Finals, killing off 90.0 percent of their penalties. Carolina’s penalty killers lead the NHL playoffs with four short-handed goals.
Best bets for the Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers playoff series
Florida has played great during the 2023 NHL playoffs, and I don’t think they have been lucky, but I believe their postseason run will come to an end in this series. The team is relying on a hot goaltender and a dominant line in Nick Cousins, Sam Bennett, and Mathew Tkachuk. Carolina is the type of team that can shut down that line and then capitalize on small mistakes. In short, the Hurricanes are a deeper and better team than the Florida Panthers. I wouldn’t count Florida out, and there is value in betting on them as the underdog, but my pick is for the Carolina Hurricanes to move on to the 2023 Stanley Cup Finals.
Pick: Carolina Hurricanes to beat the Florida Panthers in six games in the 2023 NHL Eastern Conference Finals.
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