- The Carolina Panthers are slight favorites in a game versus their playoff rivals the Boston Bruins
- Despite finishing seventh in the Eastern Conference, advanced stats show that Bruin’s players were playing at a high level.
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes facing a familiar playoff foe in the Boston Bruins tonight, and online sportsbooks are expecting an extremely close game.
|Over 5.5 (-115)
|Under 5.5 (-105)
Hurricanes Coming Off Historic Season
Carolina is coming off the greatest regular season in franchise history. They finished with the third-best record in the entire NHL, but due to an injury to their All-Star goalie Frederik Andersen, are only slight favorites against a Bruins team that finished sixth in the Eastern Conference standings.
Online sportsbooks have placed an emphasis on the loss of Andersen, who had the second-lowest goals-against average (GAA) among all goalies to make 15 or more starts in the net.
Interestingly enough, if the games requirement were removed then Carolina backup goaltenders Pyotr Kochetkov and Antti Raanta would both rank inside the top eighteen in GAA as well.
|GAA Rank With No Filter
As a whole, the Carolina Hurricanes ranked first among all NHL teams in goals against them per game at 2.44. The Hurricane’s goalies were great when needed, but what may have contributed the most to their defensive success was that they simply did not allow very many shot attempts at all.
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The Carolina Hurricanes allowed the least shot attempts per game this season, and their team-wide save percentage of 91.3% (third in the league), shows how difficult it can be to score against them.
Carolina’s goalies may be expecting more action from the Bruins though, as they were ranked second in the league in total shots attempted in the league all season.
Bruins Players Getting Unlucky
Advanced statistics show that many of the Boston Bruins players have been getting unlucky when on the ice, specifically when looking at expected plus/minus (E+/-) versus their actual plus/minus.
If the top Boston Bruins players keep playing how they have been playing and maybe get some luck to go their way, NHL sportsbooks may be proven wrong to have the Boston Bruins come in as underdogs against the Carolina Panthers.