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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|O 6.5 (-110)
|U 6.5 (-110)
The struggling Nashville Predators will face the elite Florida Panthers on the road. The Predators have 60 points and are sitting in the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. They have lost their last four games and are in dire need of a win. I would not be surprised if they are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in by the end of the week. Their opponents, the Florida Panthers, have the second-most points in the league (75) and the most points in the Eastern Conference. They have not lost a home game since before the NHL postponement.
The Nashville Predators still have time to turn it around and finish the season in a strong playoff position. However, they better hurry. They have a top defenseman in the league in Roman Josi, an efficient veteran center in Matt Duchene, a talented scoring winger in Flip Forsberg, and an All-Star goaltender in Juuse Saros. Josi was named to the All-Star team this year and has an impressive 38 assists, Duchene may not be the player he once was but can still score, Forsberg has been an efficient scorer when healthy, and Saros has cemented himself as a top-10 netminder with his 24 wins. At times, the Predators have struggled to score goals. If they can figure out a way to score consistently, they will put themselves in an excellent position.
The Florida Panthers are very difficult to beat; they have only lost ten games in regulation this season. They play incredible team hockey and have 354 assists. Their success is primarily due to winger Jonathan Huberdeau, center Aleksander Barkov, defenseman Aaron Ekblad, and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Huberdeau is tied for second in the league with 70 points, Barkov has 23 goals, Ekblad plays over 25 minutes a game and has 34 assists, and Bobrovsky is tied for first in the league with 26 wins. The Panthers have a high-powered offense and are playing at home, so I expect them to win this game easily.
Florida Panthers beat Nashville Predators 5-2. Florida Panthers cover, Over 6.5 goals.
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|Nashville Predators||Head-to-Head||Florida Panthers|
|John Hynes||Head Coach||Andrew Burnette|
|28-18-4 (4th in Central Division)||Standing||35-10-5 (1st in Atlantic Division)|
|Roman Josi (51)||Points||Jonathan Huberdeau (70)|
|Flip Forsberg (25)||Goals||Aleksander Barkov (23)|
|Roman Josi (38)||Assists||Jonathan Huberdeau (53)|
|Alexandre Carrier (14)||+/-||Aaron Ekblad (35)|
|Roman Josi (3.54)||Shots (Per Game)||Sam Bennett (3.28)|
The Nashville Predators have a tough matchup in the surging Florida Panthers. If they want to end the Panthers’ home winning streak, they have to limit the Panthers’ shots and get second-chance shots.
The Panthers have a high-powered offense that scores over four goals a game. The main reason they score four goals is because they shoot over 36 times a game. I would be surprised if a team scored under four goals a game if they shoot that much. The Predators have to limit the Panthers’ shots, so they score less. This will be difficult, but it is necessary.
Panthers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky may have 26 wins, but he does not have a great save percentage. He saves 91.9% of shots, tied for 14th-best in the league. The Predators have to attack the net and look for second-chance shots. They may be able to score a couple that way.
The Florida Panthers are the favorite to win this game, but they still have to focus on avoiding penalties and riding the hot hand.
The Predators have a solid power-play unit, converting almost 24% of their power-plays. The Panthers have to avoid committing penalties since the Predators are so successful with a man advantage. This should not be too difficult. The Predators do not go on a lot of power-plays and only have 36 power-play goals.
The Panthers do not have one prolific scorer, but they do have a lot of great passers. When a team is successful without one great scorer, different players play hero every night. In the Panther’s last game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the hero was center Aleksander Barkov. Barkov had one goal and two assists. I do not know who the hero will be in this game, but the Panthers have to depend on him.
Defenseman Roman Josi is a crucial piece to this Predators roster. The Swiss veteran leads his team in TOI at 25:07 and has 38 assists.
Josi is incredibly important to this Panthers’ defense and offense. He may not score a lot, but he has become an underrated passer. The Panthers do not need to worry about him scoring, but they need to prevent him from setting up his teammates with scoring opportunities.
There are a lot of players I could have picked as the Panthers key player. I am picking Sam Bennett because he is very efficient when he is on the ice. He only has a TOI of 17:16 and has missed ten games, but he has scored 21 goals in that time.
Bennett is a dangerous scorer, which makes him the key player. I would not be surprised if he puts one in the back of the net against the Predators.
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|Nashville Predators vs Florida Panthers Information|
|What||Nashville Predators vs Florida Panthers|
|Where||FLA Live Arena Arena, Sunrise, Florida|
|When||Tuesday, February 22, 7:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN+|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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