NHL Hockey Betting: Florida Panthers at Edmonton Oilers

NHL Hockey Betting:  Florida Panthers at Edmonton Oilers&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Edmonton Oilers have won three straight and are 6-3-1 in their last ten games. They’ve moved back into second place in the Pacific Division one point ahead of San Jose and 4 points back of first place Anaheim. They’ll go for their fourth straight tonight as they host the Florida Panthers. Florida is ‘treading water’ with a 5-4-1 record in their last ten games. They’re still in decent shape for a postseason berth but in the midst of a five team logjam in the Atlantic Division. Florida has 48 points and are in fifth place, one point ahead of sixth place Tampa Bay, 3 points ahead of Detroit and four points ahead of last place Buffalo. They’re two points back of Toronto and Ottawa who are tied for third place and three back of second place Boston.

The Panthers will start backup James Reimer tonight after Roberto Luongo started last night in a 5-2 loss at Calgary. Reimer is 7-6-3 with a 2.61 goals against average and a 0.916 save percentage. He’ll face Edmonton’s workhorse goaltender Cam Talbot who is having a very solid season–23-12-6 with a 2.42 goals against average and a 0.918 save percentage to go with three shutouts. The teams split a pair of games last year with each winning on the other team’s home ice. Edmonton beat Florida 4-2 on 1/18/16 and that was payback for Florida’s 2-1 win at Edmonton eight days earlier. The biggest issue tonight could be injuries–Florida is missing some key players including Nick Bjugstad (out indefinitely), Aleksander Barkov (will miss another week to 10 days with a lower body injury), Alex Petrovic (out indefinitely) and Jonathan Huberdeau (out at least another month). Edmonton is missing a few ‘complementary players’ like winger Tyler Pitlick but the core of the team is healthy.

The Oilers will have one more home game (Friday against Nashville) before leaving on a tough road trip with stops in Calgary, Anaheim and San Jose. They’ve been playing well on both ends of the ice over the past week or so and there’s never much consistency with the Panthers–and Reimer in net makes it even more of a question mark. We’ll go with the home team and look for the Oilers to continue their strong play.


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