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May 18 2023

NHL 2023 playoffs odds and predictions - 3rd Round

NHL Arena

No Oilers or any other Canadian team in the SFC. Once again.

It's the Conference Finals let's delve into the exciting matchups and break down the predictions on which team from East and West will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Eastern Conference Final preview and prediction: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers

The Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers are set to clash for a thrilling showdown. Both teams have displayed remarkable talent and determination throughout the postseason, but the Hurricanes enter this series as slight favorites. Nonetheless, with the Panthers' offensive firepower and resilience, the series is expected to be fiercely contested. NHL fans will be treated to an intense and captivating matchup as these two talented teams vie for the ultimate prize in professional hockey.

Team Overview

  1. Carolina Hurricanes
    The Hurricanes have been a force to be reckoned with this season, boasting a well-rounded roster and impressive depth. Led by their formidable centermen, featuring Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal, the Hurricanes possess a potent offensive attack. Furthermore, their strong defensive core, led by Brent Burns and Jaccob Slavin, provides a solid foundation in their own zone. Goaltender Frederik Andersen has been stellar, further bolstering their chances of success.
  2. Florida Panthers
    The Panthers have had a remarkable season, solidifying their position as one of the league's top contenders. Led by superstar Aleksander Barkov, along with talented wingers Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe, the Panthers possess a high-scoring offense that can challenge any opponent. Additionally, their defense, anchored by Aaron Ekblad and Gustav Forsling, showcases skill and physicality. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky's experience and talent make the Panthers a formidable team.

Key Factor: Offensive Firepower

Both teams boast explosive offenses capable of finding the back of the net consistently. The Hurricanes possess depth throughout their forward lines — even with the long list of injured core players — while the Panthers rely heavily on the offensive prowess of their top players. Special teams play, particularly the power play, could be a significant factor in this series, as both teams possess potent units. Note that Teuvo Teräväinen is likely to return to the lineup, which might shuffle up the Carolina power play.


The Carolina Hurricanes are favored to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Their balanced roster, strong defensive play, and outstanding goaltending puts them ahead of the Florida Panthers. While the Panthers possess exceptional talent and the ability to push the series to its limits, the Hurricanes' overall depth, balanced roster and consistency make them the predicted victors.

Western Conference Final preview and prediction: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Dallas Stars

The Western Conference Finals of the NHL playoffs present an exciting showdown between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars. Both teams have demonstrated their mettle throughout the postseason, so predicting which team will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals is extremely difficult. With both teams boasting impressive rosters and a recent history of some playoff success, fans can anticipate a clash of skill, intensity, and strategic gameplay.

Team Overview

  1. Vegas Golden Knights
    The Vegas Golden Knights have established themselves as a formidable force in the league since their inception. With a talented roster featuring scoring threats such as Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchessault, the Golden Knights possess an explosive offensive arsenal. Their defensive core, anchored by Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore, provides stability and puck-moving prowess. Goaltender Adin Hill has been solid throughout the playoff spring, which bolsters their chances of success.
  2. Dallas Stars
    The Dallas Stars are no strangers to deep playoff runs, having reached the Stanley Cup Finals in the 2020 season. Led by captain Jamie Benn and dynamic forwards Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson andTyler Seguin, the Stars possess a potent offensive lineup. Their defense, spearheaded by the offensively oriented Miro Heiskanen and defensive backbone Esa Lindell, boasts skill, playmaking ability and defensive reliability. In net, Jake Oettinger has demonstrated his ability to elevate his game during crucial moments.

Key Factor: Goaltending & Defensive Battle

The series between the Golden Knights and Stars will showcase a compelling goaltending duel. On both sides of the rink, a relatively inexperienced netminder will get the nod. Goaltending performances will be pivotal in determining the outcome of this series. That being said, both teams boast strong defensive units capable of stifling opposing offenses and limiting scoring chances.


In a closely contested series, the Dallas Stars are predicted to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals as slight, slight favorites. The Stars' playoff experience, strong defensive play, and potent offensive weapons give them a slight edge over the Golden Knights. However, it is important to note that the series is expected to be fiercely competitive, and the Golden Knights have the talent and determination to push the series to its limits, and are more than capable of mounting a strong challenge.

AI Odds and Predictions

For both Conferences, our Hockey NHL AI has calculated the series win probabilities:

Probability to win the 3rd round series
Carolina Hurricanes51.45 %1.94
Florida Panthers48.55 %2.06
Vegas Golden Knights49.18 %2.03
Dallas Stars50.82 %1.97