Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Florida Panthers Prediction, Betting Odds

Payton Matthews | Updated Oct 13, 2021

The Florida Panthers will open their 2021-22 season at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pittsburgh
12-8-1-4
AT
October 14, 2021, 7:00 PM ET
BB&T Center
Florida
17-4-2-2
Puckline +1.5 -156
Moneyline +160
Over / Under o +6.5

23%

Betting Action

77%

Puckline -1.5 +130
Moneyline -192
Over / Under u +6.5

23%

Betting Action

77%

Off a very surprising win at Tampa Bay, the Pittsburgh Penguins look to complete the Sunshine State sweep on Thursday night when they visit the Florida Panthers.

Florida opened as -160 favourites to win on the NHL odds, with a total of 6.5 goals.

Penguins vs. Panthers Betting Odds

These teams are again located in different divisions following the realignment. It’s the season opener for Florida, which was an excellent team last year and 20-5-3 at home in the regular season.

The Panthers’ best goalie last season was Chris Driedger, who was certainly better than two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky. Driedger had a 2.07 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 23 regular-season games but was left unprotected in the Expansion Draft and snapped up by Seattle. With Bobrovsky and promising youngster Spencer Knight, the Panthers simply couldn’t keep all three goalies. Plus, Driedger, the former Ottawa Senator, might have been a one-year wonder.

This completes an opening two-game swing through Florida for Pittsburgh ahead of its home opener on Saturday. When these teams last met in the 2019-20 season, the Panthers took two of three. The home team is 13-5 in the past 18 meetings. The under is 6-0 in the previous six.

Pittsburgh Penguins

There may not be many bigger upsets this NHL regular season than the Penguins at around +240 winning at defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay 6-2 on Tuesday. Sure, the Lightning might have had a small Stanley Cup hangover, but the Penguins were without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as they rehab from off-season injuries as well as fellow forwards Jake Guentzel and Zach Aston-Reese, who recently came off the COVID list. Those latter two have a chance to play Thursday in theory but Malkin for sure won’t and Crosby likely will not. Defenceman Mike Matheson was out with a lower-body injury and is called day-to-day.

Six different fairly anonymous players scored for the Penguins and Tristan Jarry stopped 26 of 28 shots. Jarry does share time in net with Casey DeSmith, but one would think that impressive performance earned Jarry another start Thursday. The Penguins are 5-1 in their past six after scoring at least five goals in their previous game.

Florida Panthers

Florida was a Stanley Cup contender last season but unfortunately ran into the eventual champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening round of the playoffs and lost in six games. Top defenceman Aaron Ekblad broke his leg on March 28 and missed the rest of last season but is healthy now. Ekblad had 22 points and averaged 25:05 in the 35 games he played. Second-line centre Sam Bennett was in COVID protocol recently but is now out and should play. Another centre, Noel Acciari, was injured in the pre-season and is out. Acciari had 11 points in 41 games last year.

The Panthers added forwards Sam Reinhart and Joe Thornton (played for Leafs last year) in the off-season. It should be Sergei Bobrovsky in net; he was benched in the playoff series loss to the Lightning. In fact, the Russian didn’t even dress for Games 5-6. He was 19-8-2 in the regular season with a 2.91 GAA and .906 SV. Florida is 12-3 in its past 15 at home.

NHL Prediction: Who Will Win Penguins vs. Panthers?

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