***5-0 SWEEP SUNDAY*** >> Rogers' ICE BREAKER! 11-3 NHL Run!
Carolina vs. Florida,
04/02/2018 19:30 EDT,
Score: 2 - 3
Money Line: -160 Florida
The set-up: The Florida Panthers are coming off a 5-1 loss at Boston on Saturday, losing each of the team's final three contests (0-2-1) of their four-game road trip. However, the 39-30-8 Panthers still have an outside shot at a playoff berth, as they trail New Jersey by seven points for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference but do have two games in hand with five remaining on their schedule. As for the 35-33-11 Carolina Hurricanes, they saw their playoff hopes officially end with Saturday's 2-1 home loss to the New York Rangers.
Carolina: Jeff Skinner scored the Hurricanes' lone goal against the Rangers , giving him 24 goals and 24 assists on the season. Derek Ryan has been shining of late, even as Carolina's fortunes have gone south. He carries a four-game point streak (one goal and five assists ) into Monday's meeting with Florida, giving him 36 points on the season (14 goals). Defenseman Roland McKeown, who made his NHL debut earlier this season, was recalled from Charlotte of the American Hockey League. Sebastian Aho tops the club with 64 points (28 goals) and Teuvo Teravainen has a team-high 39 assists and 62 points. Aho has been kept off the scoresheet in two of his last three contests following a nine-game point streak, while Teravainen has recorded just one point over his last five contests after enjoying a seven-game streak.
Florida: Jamie McGinn scored the lone goal against the Bruins, giving him seven points in as many contests. Yandle notched an assist Saturday to extend his point streak to five games. The defenseman has recorded a goal and five assists during his run and is four points away from matching the career high of 59 he set in 2010-11 with the then-Phoenix Coyotes (he has 55 points, including 47 assists). Colton Sceviour left Saturday's game in the second period with an undisclohe suffered while blocking a shot. Barkov (75 points) leads the team with 49 assists and Trocheck (71 points) leads the team with 30 goals..
The pick: The Hurricanes entered this season with high hopes. Scott Darling was brought in from the Chicago Blackhawks to be their No. 1 goalie but he has been outplayed by veteran mainstay Cam Ward, who will be a free agent after this season. Similarly, winger Justin Williams was brought in from the Washington Capitals, where he had 24 goals last season. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, he has not been a difference-maker, scoring just 15 goals, perhaps showing his age. Carolina will be postseason spectators for the ninth consecutive season (the longest such active streak in the NHL) and 11th in 12 campaigns since winning the lone Stanley Cup championship in franchise history in 2006. This will be the first Panthers home game since returning from a disastrous 1-2-1 road trip in which the last three games ended in defeat, one of them in overtime. A slow start this season -- the Panthers ranked 28th in the league in points as of Jan. 30 -- has left Florida with little margin for error as it tries to chase down the final wild-card playoff berth in the Eastern Conference (see above). I'll back them here and Make the Panthers an 8* play.