With each team in the NHL having roughly 15 games in the season left to play, you might believe that there is very little time left for anyone to make a major impact. That would be a mistake, though, as this is the stage of the season where teams can start to get on a roll that eventually carries them into an extended playoff run. This time last year, it was the Ottawa Senators who went on a magical run that took them from obscurity to a playoff spot in the final couple of weeks. If they want to make an appearance in the postseason again this year, they are probably going to have to go on a similar sort of run. They are currently on the outside looking in, and have a tough trip on their hands this Thursday night when they head to Florida to face a Panthers team that still has a legitimate shot at winning their division. There is an awful lot to play for in this one, as well as some money to be won, so be sure to get your NHL online wagers in.
Bet the Ottawa Senators vs Florida Panthers NHL Odds
When: Thursday, March 10 at 7:30 PM EST
Where: BB&T Centre, Sunshine
Radio: CFGO and WQAM
Live Stream: NHL Stream
NHL Odds: TBA
Why bet on the Ottawa Senators
The Senators (31-29-8) were one of the most exciting teams to watch in the final few weeks of the season last year. They got into a groove late, and made a habit of delivering big comeback wins and overtime dramatics. The hope was that the momentum gained last season would carry over into this one, but that has not been the case. Goaltending ended up being huge for them last season, but it has been their downfall this year, as the Senators are a team that are leaking goals at a pretty alarming rate. The picked up Dion Phaneuf at the deadline in hopes of shoring up the blue line, and the big man has played well at both ends of the ice. The Senators are 14-7-3 on the road, and are averaging 2.8 GPG, while giving up 3.0 GPG.
Why bet on the Florida Panthers
It’s pretty fair to say that the Florida Panthers (36-21-9) have been one of the surprise teams in the NHL this season. Their top scorer, Jaromir Jagr, only has 49 points, which would suggest a total lack of offensive power, yet this team is in a 3-way battle with Tampa Bay and Boston for the top spot in the Atlantic Division. This should tell you that they are a team that plays well defensively, and which always seems to be in every game right to the end. They are on a bit of a losing skid at the moment, having picked up only 4 points in their last 6 games, but their 20-9-5 record on home ice suggests that they may still be a good bet in this one. The Panthers are averaging 2.7 GPG, and are giving up 2.4 GPG.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Both of these teams need to find a way to break out of their current form, and I believe it will be the Panthers who will do it on home ice. They have taken 2 of 3 from the Senators this season, and you have to like them to make it 3 of 4, albeit in a close one.