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Florida Panthers Conquer Leafs In The Second Round, Advance to Conference Finals

The Florida Panthers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 6 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. It is the first time the Panthers have gotten to the Conference Finals stage since 1996. 

The 1996 season stands as the franchise’s most successful season to date. The season came as a huge surprise to many as 1996 was just the third season the Panthers were playing as the new NHL expansion team. Florida would end up winning the Eastern Conference Finals in ‘96 but would end up losing to the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Final in a rather embarrassing four game sweep. 

The Florida Panthers would not win another Playoff Series until 2022, when they defeated the Washington Capitals in the First Round but ultimately fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Second Round. 

Game 5

The Panthers defeated the Maple Leafs in Game 5 of the second round to win the series 4-2. Nick Cousins was the hero for Florida in what was an intense 3-2 overtime game. 

Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Series

The Florida Panthers will now move on to face the Carolina Hurricanes, who just defeated the New Jersey Devils in 5 games. The hurricanes have looked strong defensively but have struggled at times to provide offensively. 

If the Hurricanes can find a way to get hot in the scoring department, the Panthers might really be in trouble. 

Carolina has been a consistent contender in the Eastern Conference for years, and the team is finally getting a real opportunity to head to a Stanley Cup. Standing in their way, however, are the Florida Panthers.

What the Books Have to Say

The Carolina Hurricanes are the favorite to win the Eastern Conference and advance to the Stanley Cup Final at a price of -140 at most US sportsbooks

Season Meetings

The Hurricanes and Panthers met three times during the regular season, with the hurricanes winning 2 of the 3 meetings. 

The Panthers only win against the Hurricanes this season came back in November when Spencer Knights stone-walled the hurricanes in Sunrise, Florida for a 3-0 win. The game would stand as the young goalie’s career shutout. 

Knight is not with the Panthers at the moment, and the team will look to streaking goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. The Panthers should be confident in Bobrosky with his recent proven level of play and should fancy their chances at just +120 NHL odds on the series.

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