Stanley Cup Finals: Oilers vs Panthers series betting preview

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Stanley Cup Finals: Oilers vs Panthers series betting preview

And then there were two. After a thrilling month and a half of playoff hockey, we’re finally at the Stanley Cup Finals. Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers will represent the Western Conference after knocking off the Dallas Stars in the last round in six games. As for the Florida Panthers, they won the East for the second season in a row, eliminating the Presidents’ Trophy winner New York Rangers. This is Edmonton’s first appearance in the Cup since 2006, while Florida was on the losing end last summer as the Vegas Golden Knights beat them. Continue reading for the series preview.

Quick Take

  • The Oilers and Panthers meet in the Stanley Cup Finals
  • Florida is the favorite after losing at this stage last year
  • Find the series preview below

How did both teams get here?

Edmonton went into the playoffs as the second seed out of the Pacific Division behind the Vancouver Canucks. They made quick work of the Los Angeles Kings in round one for the third consecutive year, beating them in five games. Next up was the Canucks, who put up a real fight but McDavid and Co. emerged victorious in the full seven games. Then as previously mentioned, Edmonton just took down the Stars.

As for Florida, the Atlantic Division champions, they got past the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round before coming up against the Boston Bruins, the same team they upset in the conference quarterfinals in 2022-23. They once again had their way with Boston, advancing in six games. The Rangers tried their best in the conference finals but the Cats were simply too strong.

Edmonton Oilers

Since the Oilers drafted McDavid, they’ve failed to reach their Stanley Cup aspirations despite having such a talented roster. Two years ago, Edmonton got to the West Finals but couldn’t get the job done. It’s actually wild that Kris Knoblauch’s squad is in the Cup after their slow start to the regular season when he wasn’t even the head coach. Something clicked though when the Oilers went on a 16-game winning streak and since then, they haven’t slowed down.

Edmonton has been getting production from everyone in these playoffs and it shows by the numbers. The top-four players in points in the postseason are all from the Oilers. McDavid (31), Leon Draisaitl (28), Evan Bouchard (27), and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (20). Zach Hyman also has 18. This team is scoring 3.50 goals per contest in the playoffs and allowing just 2.60. For the most part, Stuart Skinner is performing well in net with a .897 save percentage.

Even though McDavid has only scored five times in the postseason, his playmaking abilities are truly on full display. He’s getting help from the entire core too, as you can see. That being said, this will be a very difficult series for the Oilers. The Panthers are conceding only 2.29 goals per contest in the playoffs. Sergei Bobrovsky is a beast in goal. Edmonton, who is a series underdog at NHL sportsbooks, has to bring their best.

Florida Panthers

The Cats have had revenge on their minds ever since losing in the Cup last season to Vegas. And despite many saying their Cinderella run was a fluke, Florida proved fully that wasn’t the truth. They proceeded to win the toughest division in hockey and have essentially dominated in the playoffs.

Paul Maurice’s group has seven different players in double digits in points in the postseason, led by Matthew Tkachuk’s 19. Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe have 17 apiece, while Anton Lundell and Sam Reinhart have both added 12. There is a plethora of different guys doing their part. The Panthers could be scoring more but defensively, they’re absolutely brilliant.

That solidity from Bobrovsky and his blue line will be key against a loaded Oilers attack. Slowing down McDavid and Draisaitl is a task in itself, never mind Nugent-Hopkins and Bouchard, who are also playing some great hockey right now. Florida is a series favorite with -137 odds at Bodog.