Great Defense & Goaltending Make Panthers Our NHL Pick vs. Red Wings

Dana Lane

Monday, February 8, 2016 12:58 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 12:58 PM UTC

The Panthers are ranked number two in my power rankings. At 31-15-6 68 pts, they can make a statement against the Red Wings (26-18-8 60 pts). Don't miss our NHL picks here.

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Free NHL Pick: Panthers -110
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

Recent Trends & History
The NHL odds for this game tonight are out as the Panthers have been an excellent investment this season not only straight up but also on the puck line. Although I have a tendency to stay away from puck line plays, it does show me that a team are playing solid offensively and defensively on a nightly basis. 

This is the second time these two teams have played in five days. Bettors usually side with the team that lost a recent match-up, especially when they feel both teams are somewhat equal. Don't make this mistake here. Just because it says Detroit on the jersey, it doesn't mean you should back them with your NHL picks with the thinking that they couldn't possible lose twice to the Panthers who are still trying to earn the respect of the hockey world. 

These are not the same Wings folks. They haven't won back to back home games in two months and are currently at a -4 in goal differential. 

Detroit is also catching the Panthers in a bad mood after they blew Saturday's game against Pittsburgh. The Pens tied it with 5:12 left in regulation and grabbed the two points in overtime. The OT loss did give the Panthers a point who have had at least one point in five straight games. Even in defeat, it appeared the Panthers were in control and would have won had it not been for a lucky deflection on to Sidney Crosby's stick. 

The Panthers have won the first two meetings between these two including an easy 6-3 victory in Surprise last week. The Panthers now have 25 goals in their point streak and their power play is starting to play more consistent. They are now 8-22 after a horrible 0-29 streak. 

The Panthers first two lines are legitimate offensive threats with Jaromir Jagr, Aleksander Barkov, and Jonathan Huberdeau considered one of the best first lines in the NHL but the second line isn't far behind with Jossi Jokinen, Reilly Smith, and Vincent Trocheck, who was a third round draft pick. At times, the Trocheck line plays against other teams top lines for defensive purposes. 

Florida goaltender, Roberto Luongo, has a 1.93 goals against average during a three game winning streak at Detroit. 


Betting Analysis
From a trends perspective, it's extremely difficult to bet against the Panthers who have won 23 of their last 31 games. Detroit is playing their 4th game in six days which means you must factor in the potential for fatigue. The Wings are 4-10, in their last fourteen games, in the fourth game of a four in six situation. The road team is 7-2 in the last seven games of this series. 

Defense and great goaltending are what cashes tickets and Florida has both. If the Panthers can stay out of the penalty box, which has been an issue lately, they'll beat Detroit for the second time in five days. 

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