Drawing closer to the conclusion of the 2021-22 regular season, there are nine games on the schedule for tonight. The Florida Panthers visit the Ottawa Senators, and this is where you’ll find everything, including team win odds, the over/under, and some player props.
Florida Panthers (-225) vs Ottawa Senators (+185)
FLA: 57-17-6, 4.14 GF/GP, 2.90 GA/GP, L10: 8-2-0
OTT: 32-41-7, 2.75 GF/GP, 3.23 GA/GP, L10: 6-3-1
The Ottawa Senators host the Florida Panthers in the fifth and final meeting of the 2021-22 regular season. The Panthers have taken three of four but were narrowly outscored 14-13. The Senators will miss the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, while the Panthers are the NHL’s best team. Spencer Knight will start for Florida, and Joe Thornton draws back into the lineup, and we’ll wait to see if Mason Marchment is back. The Senators are picking up steam towards the end of the season, winning their last four games.
In the Panthers’ last game, Carter Verhaeghe drew into the lineup with Mason Marchment taking a maintenance day. It’s not unusual for a team that has the Eastern Conference title locked up to rest their players ahead of the playoffs. After starting April with 11 consecutive victories, the Panthers have dropped their last two games. Knight will get a chance to redeem himself after giving up five goals on 17 shots against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has a .905 save percentage this season, a 2.89 goals-against average, and has allowed 12 goals in his last five starts.
While the Senators don’t have a postseason to play for, they still have their pride. Down the stretch, they only play one playoff-bound team in their last seven games. The youth movement is in full effect, as players like Alex Forementon, Parker Kelly, and Mark Kastelic are getting some good playing time. They all play different roles and look to create a more-versatile Senators team for next season.
Josh Norris – Assists (Over 0.5, +2.50)
Blossoming into a valuable top-six centre for the Senators, Josh Norris has three points in his last three games. His chemistry with Brady Tkachuk and Drake Batherson is hard to ignore over the last four games, combining for 12 points. They also play the first wave of the power play together and have heated up in the last three games. Together, they occupy three of the Senators’ top-five spots in scoring this season and are a beacon of hope for the team’s future.
In three games this season, Norris has two goals and two assists against the Panthers, including one multi-point game. With the way he is playing with Tkachuk and Batherson, don’t expect him to cool down. Ottawa is doing a fine job playing spoilers and could ruin Florida’s chances at capturing their first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history. The Senators have two power-play goals and two shorthanded goals in their last five games, with Norris playing in both situations.
Sam Bennett – Power Play Points (Over 0.5, +6.25)
Since coming over from the Calgary Flames, Sam Bennett has been a blessing for the Panthers’ depth at the forward position. He rounds out the top-six wonderfully, plays a physical game, and can provide secondary scoring when needed. It’s not common for him to go quiet during long stretches, so his one assist in his last five games is puzzling. Chalk it up to the season drawing to its conclusion or maybe fatigue is setting in, but Bennett is capable of more.
The Senators are a capable penalty-killing team, but they have allowed four power-play goals against the Panthers this season. With a top-10 power-play efficiency rate, Florida will likely take advantage of a Senators team dealing with a ton of injuries. Bennett plays the second wave, so his time may be limited on the man advantage. The chaos he and linemate Patric Hornqvist create in front of the net should give Ottawa more than they can handle. At a +6.25, this may be worth taking a gamble on.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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