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Bruins vs. Panthers 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds & Game 1 Preview

By Hank Blaine

The Boston Bruins were the Stanley Cup favorites entering the 2023 postseason after setting NHL records that regular season for points and wins, but they were then stunned in the first round by the wild-card Florida Panthers. The teams stage a playoff rematch in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday night from South Florida.

Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 1 Information

  • When: Monday, May 6th, 2024, 8:00 PM ET
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise, FL
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub FM (Bruins) // 560 The Joe WQAM (Panthers)
  • Live Stream: NHL Network
  • NHL Betting Odds: Bruins (+1.5) // Panthers (-1.5)

Why Bet on the Boston Bruins?

Boston was 4-0 vs. Florida this regular season, with three of the games decided by a goal. They last played April 6 in Beantown and the Bruins prevailed 3-2 in overtime. Jesper Boqvist scored 2:05 into overtime and Linus Ullmark stopped 28 shots. Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves in a losing effort. He’ll definitely start in net Monday for Florida, but Ullmark might not start for Boston as Jeremy Swayman was the main guy in Round 1 vs. Toronto – although the B’s did essentially rotate the two in the regular season.

The Bruins got here with a 2-1 OT home win over Toronto on Saturday, as star David Pastrnak scored on a feed from Hampus Lindholm 1:54 into overtime. The only teams in NHL history to score faster in overtime of a Game 7 were Calgary in the 2004 Conference Quarterfinals (1:25) and Boston in the 1983 Division Finals (1:52).

“I played with [Pastrnak] for long enough to know that I can see when he swings like that, and I know they’re doing like three across there so it’s trying to get behind them and get a good balance there,” Lindholm explained. “And obviously Pasta got his magic. It was [on] purpose that I was hoping that the kick out was good for him there – and then the way he handles that puck and puts it over the pads, there are a few guys that can do that.”

It was Pastrnak’s second career series-clinching goal (also Game 4 of the 2019 conference finals) and he became the 12th player in franchise history with multiple clinching goals. The only players with three or more are Patrice Bergeron (4), Cam Neely (3) and Jean Ratelle (3). Fellow forward Brad Marchand appeared in his 12th career Game 7, tied for the most among active players and trail only four players on the NHL’s all-time list: former teammates Patrice Bergeron (14 GP) and Zdeno Chara (14 GP) share the all-time record, while defenseman Scott Stevens (13 GP) and goaltender Patrick Roy (13 GP) are the only other players to contest more than a dozen.

Jeremy Swayman finished with 30 saves and Lindholm had the tying goal in regulation to help the Bruins avoid losing their second straight first-round series after holding a 3-1 lead. They have now defeated the rival Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs three times in the last seven years. The Bruins recorded their fifth Game 7 comeback win in team history, moving them into a tie with the Maple Leafs for the most by a franchise in NHL history.

Why Bet on the Florida Panthers?

Florida advanced by eliminating rival Tampa Bay in Game 5 last Monday, 6-1, to improve to 8-0 all-time when scoring first in an elimination game. Carter Verhaeghe scored and extended his postseason-opening point streak to five games – tied with Aleksander Barkov (2021) and Jason Woolley (1996) for the longest run by a Panthers player.

Barkov became the fifth player in Panthers history to score a shorthanded goal in the playoffs. The only other to do so in a potential series-clinching game was Bill Lindsay (Game 6 of 1996 conference semis). Barkov’s shorthanded tally stood as the game winner, making him just the second active player to score a shorthanded series-clinching goal. The other: Yanni Gourde in Game 7 of 2021 semifinals while with Tampa Bay.

Verhaeghe (five goals, four assists) and Matthew Tkachuk (three goals, six assists) each had nine points to lead the Panthers in the first round. Bobrovsky started each game vs. the Bolts, going 4-1-0 with a 2.78 goals-against average and .896 save percentage.

Florida has made it past the opening round of the playoffs for a franchise-best third straight year. The Panthers have won five series over the past three postseason, which is the most among all teams over that span.

Top-six forward Sam Bennett (upper body) won’t play Monday in Game 1, though he’s labeled as day-to-day. Bennett missed the final three games of Florida’s opening-round series against the Lightning. While he’ll miss the opening game of the second round, coach Paul Maurice said Bennett was “better than I hoped” following Sunday’s morning skate. Bennett has a goal and an assist so far in the playoffs, after tallying 20 goals and 41 points in the regular season.

Florida and Boston have played twice in the postseason, with the Panthers winning each time – reaching the Stanley Cup Final in both (last year and 1996). The Panthers are one of a handful of franchises yet to win a Stanley Cup.

Bruins vs. Panthers Betting Trends

  • Boston is 10-2 SU in the last 12 games against Toronto.
  • The Bruins are 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road.
  • The total went under in 11 of Boston’s last 14 games.
  • Toronto is 2-7 SU in the last 9 games.
  • The Maple Leafs are 1-5 SU in its last 6 games at home.
  • The total went under in 5 of Toronto’s last 7 games against Boston.

Bruins vs. Panthers 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 1 Expert Betting Predictions

The Bruins should get the win on the road on Monday night to take the series lead.

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Check out our latest sports betting guides for the 2023-24 NHL season. Stay tuned for more hockey previews and articles, and don’t forget to check out the latest NHL betting odds at our online crypto sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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