Blues To Get An Easy Home Victory Over Panthers

blues-panthers

Dana Lane

Monday, February 20, 2017 7:17 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 7:17 PM GMT

The Florida Panthers are looking to sweep their five-game road trip as they face the St. Louis Blues on Monday. Florida has won seven of its past eight overall but handicapper Dana Lane explains why tonight is the end of the Panthers' winning ways. 

2016-2017 NHL Record: 64-52 (+15.32 Units)

The Florida Panthers finish up their five-game road trip tonight at the Scottrade Center and we're all over itw with our NHL picks. 

The Panthers' streak has been nothing short of impressive, but let's not forget that the the St. Louis Blues have been on an impressive streak themselves since Coach Mike Yeo took over for Ken Hitchcock. The Blues are coming off a loss for just the second time under Yeo but responded nicely the first time by shutting out the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-0. In fact, after the loss to the Penguins they went on a five-game tear in which they outscored their opponents 16-3.  

This is the last game before the Blues head to their five-day mandatory break.  If we look at both teams to determine which may be more motivated, it has to be the Blues who most likely would rather not sit around for five days thinking about how they dropped their last two games. The Panthers can still take plenty of pride in their road trip even if they lose this game. Advantage Blues. 

Normally the return of a big player is a negative for the first few games, but Paul Stastny returning is big for the Blues' No. 1 line as he'll play with Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko.  That group desperately needs a quarterback.  Before his injury, Stastny scored 8 goals and added eight assist in his previous 15 games.

Head-to-head the Panthers have not found a lot of success as they are just 8-18-3 against the Blues in their last 29 meetings, including a poor 4-11-1 streak at the Scottrade Center. In their last 19 against the Blues, Florida has averaged just 1.83 goals per game and 1.44 on the road.  Recent history also favors Yeo's team as the Panthers have managed one win in their last five meetings in NHL betting.

I like to back teams that have a special teams advantage, and by the numbers the Blues have it in this one as the Panthers have a horrific 15% success rate on the power play, which is one of the worst in the league (27th).

The Panthers have won four straight on the road but even in victory the Panthers have given up three goals a game which is above my comfort level for financially back a team, especially when that team has been offensively unreliable the entire year. 

NHL Free Pick: Blues -140Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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