The Florida Panthers are back in the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade but not many people are giving them much of a chance to go very far in the postseason.
The Panthers may be the No. 3 seed in the East after winning the Southeast division but they’re a +165 series underdog versus New Jersey at Bodog.ca. The Devils, who actually finished with 10 more wins and eight more points than Florida are a -190 series favorite.
The Panther and Devils split the season-series two wins apiece, with each picking up a win at home and a win on the road. Florida and New Jersey ended the regular season in completely different fashions. [ 100% Deposit Bonus ]
The Panthers sputtered into the playoffs, winning only two of their last 10 games. The Devils were red-hot down the stretch, winning six in a row to end the regular season.
Florida may be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2000 but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some playoff experience on their roster. The Panthers have a number of players that have been here before like Tomas Fleischmann and Jose Theodore and they also have a few former Cup winners in Brian Campbell, Kris Versteeg and Mikael Samuelsson.
The Devils open the series on the road in Florida but they’re actually the favorite in Game 1 at William Hill at -120.
The Devils boast some firepower led by Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and ageless Patrik Elias, but their chances of making it deep into the postseason may rely on Martin Brodeur and how much magic the 39-year-old has left.