Free NHL Picks Today For Eastern Conference Finals Game One: Carolina Hurricanes vs Florida Panthers 5/18/23

Free NHL Picks Today For Eastern Conference Finals Game One: Carolina Hurricanes vs Florida Panthers 5/18/23
Thu 18th May 2023

The Florida Panthers head to face the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Thursday. The Panthers committed only two penalties in the game, holding Toronto without a power play goal. Carter Verhaeghe, Aaron Ekblad, and Nick Cousins each scored once for the Panthers.

Verhaeghe and Ekblad both added an assist to lead the team in scoring. Sergei Bobrovsky had a great performance with 50 saves (.961%) in the win.

Brent Burns, Jesper Fast, and Jaccob Slavin scored one apiece for the Hurricanes. Frederik Andersen was impressive in the win, making 27 saves (.931%).


The Hurricanes won two of the three regular season games between the teams this season, including a 6-4 victory in their last meeting in April. Four players had two points for Carolina. Radko Gudas led Florida with three points (0G 3A). Andersen got the win despite allowing four goals on 34 shots (.882%).


Florida is averaging 3.49 goals per game for the season, fourth in the NHL. The visitors will face a tough challenge against a Hurricanes team that is allowing only 2.56 goals a game (2nd).

Meanwhile, Carolina has found the net 3.25 times a game on average, 15th in the league, and the Panthers are allowing opponents to score 3.29 goals per game (20th).

Both teams average more shots/game than most teams in the league. Florida ranks No. 1 with 36.1 attempts, while Carolina’s 34.6 average ranks third. When it comes to shot-stopping, the Hurricanes have been more successful, stopping .908% of shots as a team (11th), while the Panthers have a team save percentage of .905% (16th).

Power play opportunities should be plentiful for the Hurricanes, as the Panthers are averaging 4.70 penalties per game, second-most in the NHL. The visitors’ 12.37 penalty minutes a game also ranks second-highest.

The home team has been penalized 3.52 times a game (10th-fewest in the league) for an average of 7.62 minutes (2nd-fewest).The Panthers’ 22.95% power play percentage ranks 11th in the league, while the Hurricanes are 20th with a conversion rate of 19.72%.

Carolina has been stronger at penalty killing, boasting the league’s second-highest PK% at 84.97%. Florida ranks 23rd at 74.70%.


With 109 points this season, seventh-most in the NHL, Matthew Tkachuk is the top skater for the Panthers. He is among the league leaders with 69 assists (5th) and has added 40 goals of his own. In the net, Bobrovsky (24-20-3) is Florida’s top goaltender by goals against average. He has a 3.07 GAA and a .901% save percentage.

Martin Necas and Sebastian Aho lead the Hurricanes in scoring with 71 and 67 points, respectively. Necas has 28 goals and 43 assists, while Aho has 36 goals and 31 assists in 75 games. Antti Raanta (19-3-3) has the best goals against average for Carolina at 2.23, third-best in the league. He has a save percentage of .910%. Andersen (21-11-1) has played the most games in net for the Hurricanes this season. He has a 2.48 GAA and a .903% save percentage.


Florida is 25-20-3 away from home this season. Carolina is 33-11-3 at PNC Arena this season.

SportsTips’ NHL Pick:

Carolina Hurricanes (-145)

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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.

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