Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers Pick & Prediction MAY 24th 2023

Stadium: BB&T Center Sunrise
Logo Carolina Hurricanes
Logo Florida Panthers

5.5o 105
-1.5 +240



Based on the game plan, anyway, the Carolina Hurricanes have scratched and clawed their way through the Eastern Conference finals just as they had planned.

What has not met their expectations is the scoreboard.

The Hurricanes must claim a victory in Wednesday's road clash with the Florida Panthers to avoid being swept in the series and keep their Stanley Cup Final hopes alive.

Despite an impressive defensive showing, while generating all kinds of offensive opportunities, the Hurricanes trail the best-of-seven series 3-0 after dropping the first two games in overtime and losing 1-0 in Game 3 on Monday.

Not only must the Hurricanes find a way to beat goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and the Panthers, but they must overcome any wavering confidence.

"The games have been close. Could have gone either way," Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen said. "It's frustrating."

The Hurricanes have fired 135 shots on goal over the series but only scored three times. Monday's defeat may actually have been their best performance, when they dominated the first half of the second period and all of the final frame, but they couldn't find the equalizer let alone a winning goal.

At this point, the hope is one goal will open the floodgates and cue a series comeback.

"If we start with one win here and we continue to play like that, we're going to get a bounce and we'll move on from there," Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal said. "We'll take another (shot) at it and take Game 4 and go from there."

The Hurricanes are on the verge of being swept in a third consecutive trip to the conference final, counting visits in 2019 and 2009.

"Any team still playing has gone through some adversities," Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho said. "We're no different. Obviously, you have to get through a lot to get to this point, but we're a confident team. This series is not over."

While the Hurricanes can talk about being confident, the Panthers have proven it on their end.

Florida, which nabbed the final wild-card playoff spot by a single point, is on the verge of dispatching three of the top four Eastern Conference seeds, having defeated the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs en route to facing the Metropolitan Division champions.

The Panthers are one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history and first since 1996, although the players are trying to avoid such talk.

"In a game, you play just the moment," Bobrovsky said. "There is no future, no past. You're just right here, right now. You see what's going on, you know what's happening, and you react accordingly. That's pretty simple."

Of course, it helps to have a goaltender at the top of his game. Bobrovsky's 132 saves through the series so far is the most recorded by a goalie in NHL history in the first three games of a conference final or semifinal. The previous record was 125.

"It's really incredible to see," Panthers forward Sam Bennett said. "It gives our team that much more confidence and that much more belief. Even if they have a big push, we know we've got a guy back there that's going to fight and do whatever it takes. It's a lot of fun playing when you have a goalie playing like that."

The biggest question for the Panthers is the status of captain Aleksander Barkov, who came away with a lower-body injury in the first period of Monday's victory and did not return.

"We'll have a better idea after we see him today where he's at, but I would say I'm more on the optimistic side right now," Panthers coach Paul Maurice said Tuesday.

--Field Level Media

Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers Recap MAY 24TH 2023

Matthew Tkachuk scored his second goal of the night with five seconds remaining in regulation and the Florida Panthers punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday in Sunrise, Fla.

The Panthers completed a four-game sweep of the Eastern Conference finals to seal their second trip to the title round. They were swept in the 1996 finals by the Colorado Avalanche.

With Florida on a power play, Tkachuk calmly took the puck to the front of the net and tallied his ninth goal of the playoffs to complete the series. Tkachuk scored three winning goals in the best-of-seven set, the others coming in the fourth overtime in Game 1 and the first OT in Game 2.

His goal ties the NHL record for the latest series-winning goal in regulation. The Toronto Maple Leafs' Nick Metz eliminated the New York Rangers with five seconds left in Game 6 of a Stanley Cup semifinals series in 1942.

Anthony Duclair and Ryan Lomberg also scored for the Panthers, who recorded the franchise's first ever playoff series sweep.

The Panthers will face the victor of the Western Conference finals between the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars in the finals. Vegas leads Dallas three games to none.

Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 36 saves and captain Aleksander Barkov netted two assists.

Paul Stastny, Teuvo Teravainen and Jesper Fast scored for the Hurricanes, who have been swept in their past three trips to the Eastern Conference finals. Brady Skjei and Jordan Martinook collected a pair of assists apiece, and goalie Frederik Andersen stopped 20 shots.

Duclair sent the Panthers off and running when he opened the scoring 41 seconds into the game, and Tkachuk doubled the lead with a power-play goal just past the midway point of the opening frame.

The Hurricanes drew even when Stastny netted his fourth of the playoffs to put the visitors on the board at 13:03 of the first period and Teravainen scored his first of the postseason at 2:51 of the second period.

Lomberg's first of the playoffs moved the Panthers ahead again midway through the second period, but Fast tied the clash again with 3:22 remaining in regulation.

Both sides lost players due to in-game injuries. Florida forward Eetu Luostarinen left the game in the second period after blocking a shot with his leg.

Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin was on the receiving end of a clean but hard hit from Sam Bennett and appeared to hit his head on the ice as he fell backward. The team said he sustained an upper-body injury.

Hurricanes forward Stefan Noesen also left the clash due to an upper-body injury sustained in the first period. He briefly played in the second period but didn't skate in the final frame.

--Field Level Media