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Hurricanes Look To Take Advantage Of Fledgling Panthers Tuesday Night

Posted by on 3/17/2013 7:18:04 PM

The Carolina Hurricanes have been one of the surprise online sports betting stories of the NHL season so far, going from a non-playoff team to first place in the Southeast division. The Florida Panthers have also been somewhat of a surprise, only for the exact opposite reason. The Hurricanes will look to build on their division lead when they host the fledgling Panthers this Tuesday night. Florida had lost five-straight to fall to the conference basement heading in to the weekend, an incredible turnaround less than one year after winning the Southeast division.

Florida Panthers @ Carolina Hurricanes
Tuesday March 19, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
NHL Sports Betting Line: Carolina – 150

Carolina hockey fans have realized how talented their team is, but are also very aware of the potential dangers that are ahead of them. The Hurricanes let a chance to beat the Washington Capitals slip away when they allowed three-unanswered goals in a 3-2 loss, and have the Winnipeg Jets hot on their heels in the division.

NHL Betting Preview: Florida Panthers

Considering that Florida winning the division last year was somewhat of a surprise, it isn’t as though it is absolutely shocking to see them struggling this season, even if expectations had heightened after last year’s success. The Panthers rank near the bottom of the league in both goals per game and goals per game allowed, and it certainly doesn’t help that they have been without one of their leading scorers in Kris Versteeg, and their starting goaltender Jose Theodore over the last little bit. Florida also owns the worst penalty kill-unit in the NHL, at just 73-percent.

NHL Betting Preview: Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes will certainly look to take advantage of the Panthers’ struggles on the penalty kill to help their own powerplay, which is operation at just 13.3-percent, ranking them 29th in the NHL. Eric Staal has registered 32 points on a No. 1 line that has been excellent all year with Alex Semin and Jiri Tlusty on his wings, but the success has not carried over to the powerplay where Carolina has struggled. The Hurricanes split their first four games without injured netminder Cam Ward, and the goaltending certainly wasn’t the problem in their loss to the Capitals last Thursday. Consistency will be the key for Carolina the rest of the way, and they need to make sure they don’t have any more incidents like the collapse versus Washington.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

The Hurricanes have a solid top-two scoring lines, and are decent enough in their own end that they can make up for the loss of Ward with strong two-way play for the next couple of weeks. Carolina does not have a commanding lead in the Southeast division, and that will make taking care of business in the online sports betting games they are expected to win that much more important the rest of the way.

NHL Betting Pick: Carolina Hurricanes

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