Free NHL Hockey Prediction: Senators vs Panthers NHL Odds
Looking for Ottawa Senators vs. Florida Panthers free hockey plays & NHL Odds? NHL betting sees the Senators taking on the Panthers on Sunday February 26th at BB&T Center in Sunrise. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL Hockey matchups all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL hockey predictions.
(32-21-6) Ottawa Senators vs. Florida Panthers (28-22-10)
Date: Sunday February 26th
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL
NHL Hockey Moneyline Odds: Panthers -150
NHL Hockey Puck Line Odds: Off
NHL Betting Total: 5.0
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Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division foes Ottawa and Florida will go head to head on Sunday evening.
Each team finds themselves in their own race, with the Sens trying to chase down the Canadiens for top spot in the division, while the Panthers have surged of late and are battling to get into a wildcard spot.
To the surprise of some, yes, the Senators are in fact closing in on top spot in the Atlantic Division.
That can in part be attributed to the remarkably poor play of the Montreal Canadiens over the past month, but the Senators have been doing their part as far as piling up the wins and closing ground.
The Sens are the walking wounded at the moment however, with Bobby Ryan on the IR with a broken finger, and Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone day-to-day with ailments of their own. Take three top six forwards off any team and you’re bound to see some regression.
This was quite evident in Ottawa’s last game as they were blanked 3-0 by the Carolina Hurricanes. Not for lack of trying, as the Sens managed to fire 34 shots on Eddie Lack, but without three of their top end forwards, there’s just not a lot of scoring punch to speak of.
The burden of carrying the offence is going to fall on Kyle Turris for the time being, along with leading scorer Erik Karlsson.
Craig Anderson is settling back into the lineup and was very solid despite allowing three goals against the Canes, as he had little support in front of him and was battered with 44 shots on the night.
The Sens are going to have to buckle down and play the sound defensive game that got them to where they are, especially now that a great deal of firepower is out of the lineup.
After finishing atop the Atlantic Division a year ago it was a slow and disappointing start for the Panthers.
The team has been hitting their form from a year ago of late however, as Jonathan Huberdeau starts to get back to game speed and really rounded out their attack.
On the back end it’s a dice roll with what you’re going to get from the Panthers. Aaron Ekblad is still very young, as is Michael Matheson, and this team isn’t immune to some errors on defence.
What’s been an Achilles heel for the team though, surprisingly, is goaltending. Where Roberto Luongo was able to bail out defensive mishaps a year ago, that hasn’t been the cast this season.
Quite the opposite as on a lot of nights Bobby Lu is just flat-out not good enough and is letting far too many pucks get by him. Since mid-January, Luongo has allowed three or more goals eight times in 10 games.
This NHL is higher scoring that days gone by, but even still, allowing three-plus goals in 80% of your starts just doesn’t cut it, and your team isn’t going to win a lot of games that way.
The Panthers look quite smart for picking up former starter James Reimer to back up Luongo, and he’s been a big part of the team’s resurgence.
Reimer has made six starts in the past month and has four wins to show for it, and in each of those wins Reimer only surrendered one goal.
NHL Betting Trends:
- ARI are 16-52 in their last 68 vs. Central.
- ARI are 14-44 in their last 58 road games.
- Over is 9-3-4 in ARI last 16 overall.
- DAL are 2-7 in their last 9 overall.
- Home team is 16-5 in the last 21 meetings.
- Under is 20-8-1 in the last 29 meetings.
Free Ottawa vs. Florida NHL Hockey Prediction:
I think this is one where you have to keep an eye on who starts in goal for the Panthers. The team seems set on getting Luongo’s confidence up but every time he takes the crease back he falters. A game against a battered Sens team could be just what the doctor ordered for Luongo.
4* Free NHL Betting Pick: Florida -1.5
This slew of injuries isn’t a make or break for the Senators as I still think they’ll be a playoff team come April. But this has the makings of a slide for them. Florida is 2-1-0 on the season series and I think they wrap up their tilts with Ottawa on a winning note.
NHL Free Score Prediction: Florida 3 – 1 Ottawa
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