Two struggling teams hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive will clash in Ottawa on Monday night.
The Ottawa Senators have less than a 1% chance of making the playoffs after dropping seven of their last nine games. Ottawa enters play Monday with 75 points, seven points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot with nine games to play.
It’s been a disappointing season for the Florida Panthers, who have lost three straight games and sit with 79 points, three behind the aforementioned Penguins for the final East playoff spot. Monday will mark the start of a four-game road trip for the squad that will also include stops in Toronto, Montreal, and Columbus.
The Panthers are -135 on the moneyline in this matchup and the total is set at seven goals.
|Senators Moneyline Odds||+115|
|Panthers Moneyline Odds||-135|
|Over/Under||7 goals (over -105, under -115)|
|Time/Date||Monday, March 27, 7:00 p.m. ET|
|TV||Broadcast: Sportsnet One|
These two teams clashed back on Oct. 29 in Florida and the Panthers skated to a 5-3 victory. Aleksander Barkov, Carter Verhaeghe, and Matthew Tkachuk had three points apiece and Spencer Knight stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced for the Panthers. Florida peppered the Ottawa goal with a whopping 57 shots in the win. The two teams will meet again for a third and final time this season on April 6 in Florida.
About the Panthers (36-30-6-1, 29-44 ATS, 40-26 o/u)
The Panthers surged up the Eastern Conference standings with a seven-game point streak (6-0-1) from March 4-20, but Florida is winless in three straight games, including Saturday’s 4-3 home loss to the New York Rangers.
Sergei Bobrovsky has seen his workload increase substantially since Spencer Knight entered the league’s player assistance program in late Februrary, and he’s coughed up nine goals over the the last two games while stopping only 59 of the 68 shots he’s faced (.867 SV%). The two-time Vezina Trophy winner will have to regain his All-Star form, and fast, in order for Florida to vault into a playoff spot down the stretch.
Player to watch: Matthew Tkachuk
The Panthers forward is smoking hot coming into this one, recording seven goals and nine assists over the last eight games. He scored and added two assists earlier this season against the Sens.
About the Senators (35-33-4-1, 42-31 ATS, 35-38 o/u)
The off-ice distractions may be too much for the Senators to ignore down the stretch with their playoff hopes dwindling. Rumours surrounding the impending sale of the team and where a new arena could potentially be located are dominating headlines and they’re no doubt a distraction for the players in the dressing room.
Ottawa’s schedule down the stretch has been absolutely brutal with many games against playoff-bound opponents, and it won’t get any easier as the schedule winds down. The Senators still have to play the Carolina Hurricanes (twice), the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Florida again before it’s all said and done.
Florida could break Ottawa’s spirit for good with a victory in regulation time on Monday night.
Player to watch: Brady Tkachuk
The Ottawa captain has been doing everything he can to get his team into the postseason, amassing seven goals and two assists over the last seven games. He also scored last time out against the Panthers, who roster his brother, Matthew.
Florida: Sergei Bobrovsky (24-19-3, 3.05 GAA, .903 SV%) – confirmed.
Ottawa: Mads Sogaard (6-5-2, 3.27 GAA, .890 SV%) – confirmed.
Ottawa defenceman Jakob Chychrun (lower body) will miss at least the next two weeks of action. He has two goals, three assists, and is a minus-1 in 12 games since being acquired by the Senators just prior to the trade deadline. He’ll be greatly missed by a thin Ottawa defence corps.
Florida forward Sam Bennett has missed the team’s last three games due to an undisclosed issue. He’s considered day-to-day and it’s unclear if he’ll be available on Monday night.
- The Panthers are 5-0 in the past five meetings in Ottawa and 4-0 in the past four meetings overall.
- The over is 3-0-1 in Florida’s last four games overall.
- The over is 12-4 in Ottawa’s last 16 games overall.
Wagers to consider
- Same Game Parlay Bet Boost – Panthers to win, Matthew Tkachuk over 1.5 points, Aleksander Barkov over 1.5 points: +400. The Panthers have a realistic shot at chasing down the Penguins for a playoff spot and they have a chance to essentially put the nail in the coffin on the Senators’ playoff aspirations. Barkov and Tkachuk are hot and should have no problem getting on the scoresheet in this one.
- Tkachuk vs. Tkachuk. Although bet365 isn’t offered a specific prop on which brother will outperform the other, wagering on both of them to score individually has value. Matthew is +100 to score; Brady is +150. Bragging rights are on the line here, so we could see big performances from both of them.
- Tied after regulation: +325. These points are incredibly valuable for both teams and their playoff aspirations. Both teams will play for at least one point if the score is tied in the third period and then take their chances in overtime or a shootout.