Colorado Avalanche (31-13-5) at Florida Panthers (20-23-7)
|Date & Time||Friday January 24, 2014, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Florida Panthers +105 / Colorado Avalanche -116 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Florida Panthers return home after winning two straight road games and inching that much closer to a 500-record. They’ll now take on one of the better teams in hockey in the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night at the BB&T Center.
The Panthers have all of a sudden found their offense, scoring a combined nine goals in their last two games, which includes five in the massive upset to snap the Pittsburgh Penguins 13-home game winning streak. In the win over Buffalo, Panthers captain Ed Jovanovski found his rhythm for the first time this year, as he scored a goal and had an assist in his best game since returning back from a boatload of injuries.
Colorado has won four of its last five games and will be looking to bounce back after losing its most recent game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. While the goaltending continues to hold up well, center Nathan MacKinnon has really turned up the heat over the last month with 32 shots on goal, two assists and seven goals in just 10 games.
While the Avalanche are the better team and have been playing consistent all season long, the line does make you think twice about which side to pick. The Panthers have been playing better as of late and could certainly use a home victory before going back on the road for a four-game road trip.
The home team has won five of the last six meetings between these two teams and Florida did beat Colorado (4-1) in November as heavy underdogs.
I like the Panthers to do it again, this time as minor underdogs.