The Eastern Conference Final in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is not exactly the matchup we expected heading into the postseason. The fourth seeded Florida Panthers out of the Atlantic Division have upset multiple higher seeds to reach this stage, as they take on the top seeded Carolina Hurricanes out of the Metro Division. Below is my NHL betting pick for Panthers vs Hurricanes Game 1 from Raleigh.
Panthers vs Hurricanes Game 1 Betting Pick
|ℹ️ The Pick:||Hurricanes Moneyline (-140)|
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This game will be played at PNC Arena at 8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 18, 2023.
Why Bet on the Hurricanes:
✅ Carolina has gone 5-1 at home in the Stanley Cup Playoffs so far, including 3-0 against the New Jersey Devils in the last round.
✅ The Hurricanes defense held the Devils to two goals or fewer in four of their five games in the second round, and that defense should be able to slow down the red hot Florida Panthers.
The Florida Panthers have managed to become the Cinderella story of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Seeded fourth in the Atlantic Division portion of the Eastern Conference, the Panthers have eliminated the top-two seeds back to back, beating the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs to get to this point. Now, the question is whether they can spring one more upset in order to reach the Stanley Cup Final.
Florida has won six of their last seven games this postseason after falling behind 3-1 to the Bruins in the first round. A huge reason for their resurgence from the brink of elimination has been their defense, which has allowed two or fewer goals in five straight games, as they locked Toronto up en route to a 4-1 second round series win. If their defense can play at that level against Carolina, the Panthers could find themselves as the last team standing in the East.
The Carolina Hurricanes made it through the Metro Division portion of the Eastern Conference without too much trouble. They took a 3-1 lead against the New York Islanders before winning that series in six games, then took the New Jersey Devils down in five games. Now, the Canes will look to win a third straight series opener on home ice in these playoffs to set the tone for the Eastern Conference Final.
In some huge news for the Canes coming into this series, it looks like Teuvo Teravainen is set to return from injury just in time for this series. Teravainen should be able to help a Hurricanes attack that has been incredible already this postseason, with the only question being how adding him back into the fold will impact the team’s rhythm.