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Panthers, Avalanche Set to Rack up the Goals in Denver

The Florida Panthers defense and goaltending couldn’t do much right Monday in Vancouver – and things aren’t about to get any easier as the Panthers visit the Avalanche in Denver on Wednesday. Colorado is one of only two teams averaging at least four goals per game on the season, while the Panthers rank near the bottom of the league in goals against.

Matchup Information
  • Florida Panthers vs Colorado Avalanche (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: October 30, 10 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: ALT, FS-F
  • Opening Odds: Florida +127, Colorado -140 | O/U 6.5 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

Colorado opened this matchup at -140, though that number quickly dropped to -135 in some spots. The total of 6.5 will likely hold steady given that the teams are a combined 15-7-1 O/U for the season.

Florida News & Notes

The Panthers have already established themselves as a visiting team’s dream, surrendering the most goals per game on home ice in the NHL (4.00). And now, that reputation has spread to the road after Florida was tagged for five first-period goals in a 7-2 loss to the Canucks. The Panthers’ -5 goal margin ranked sixth out of eight teams in the Atlantic as of Tuesday night.

Fortunately, Florida has put the puck in the net with regularity – a big reason (along with the bad defense and goaltending) for the Panthers’ 8-4 O/U mark through their first 12 games. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov lead the way with 13 points apiece, though Barkov is still looking for his first goal of the season entering Wednesday’s game.

Colorado News & Notes

While the Avalanche haven’t necessarily missed injured forward Mikko Rantanen – they’ve averaged 3.5 goals in two games without him – they are coming off arguably their worst effort of the season, a 5-2 home loss to a punchless Anaheim Ducks team. But Colorado comes in having won five consecutive regular-season games following a loss.

One element Colorado will almost certainly be looking to improve is shot prevention. The Avalanche are surrendering 34.3 shots per game – fifth-most in the NHL – and part of that high count stems from being the worst faceoff team in the league, winning just 44.8 percent of draws. They ranked just 26th in that category a year ago.

Betting Pick: OVER 6.5

Both teams can score and neither team is particularly adept at keeping the puck out of the net. This one should be a wide-open affair and is a good bet to finish above the number.

Shark Bites
  • The road team has won 5 of the past 6 head-to-head meetings.
  • Colorado is 14-2 SU in its last 16 home games.
  • The OVER is 5-2 in Florida’s last 7 games.