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NHL Predictions: May 24 w/ Florida Panthers vs New York Rangers

NHL predictions

Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our predictions for each one, breaking down head-to-head and other factors that may play in. We also have a featured game of the day, which is considered must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the Florida Panthers vs New York Rangers. Be sure to check out more NHL predictions in the coming days as the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs roll on.

NHL Predictions

Florida Panthers vs New York Rangers

Series Head-to-Head: Panthers 1-0 Rangers

TV: ESPN, Sportsnet, TVAS, CBC

Game 1 went to the visitor’s and they got home-ice advantage away from the Rangers. Florida came out heavy and starter Sergei Bobrovksy looked the better of the two Russian goalies in this game. New York knows that it needs a better offensive performance if it wants to go back to Florida with the series tied up at one game apiece. Could Blueshirts head coach Peter Laviolette make some lineup changes? Blake Wheeler is available after a lower-body injury that kept him out most of the season.

Florida expects the President’s Trophy winners to come out hot, but its well-equipped to handle the pressure. Let’s take a look at the storylines heading into Game 2 in this round of NHL predictions.

The Panthers Story

Florida looked the part of the defending Eastern Conference champion with a dominant effort. Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett and Carter Verhaeghe were the goal-scorers. However, Verhaeghe’s goal had a little bit of help from Alexis Lafreniere. Bobrovsky stymied the usually high-flying Rangers’ offence in Game 1. Florida has been able to have these dominant games a number of times this post-season. More games like the series-opener could result in the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Head coach Paul Maurice has hit the right buttons so far.

The Rangers story

New York is hoping to lean on history in order to get back into the series. The Rangers lost Game 1 of their only other playoff encounter and reeled off four straight wins to take the series. Rangers’ fans are looking to rely on the past of 1994 when it lost Game 1 to the New Jersey Devils, but ousted them in seven games. Igor Shesterkin is expected to get the start, but he’s going to need some help in order to even up the series. Players like Vincent Trocheck, Mika Zibanejad and others need to get going to avoid an 0-2 hole. The Blueshirts have the weight of the world on their shoulders at this point.


One thing the Rangers have done well is make adjustments between games. Having a celebrated coach like Laviolette does help that, but the team on the ice has been solid in that. Expect the Rangers to come out with a little more of an edge. Not many teams can battle with the Panthers, but they do have some ability to match it.

Shesterkin has also had bounce-back games plenty of times this season. This could be another one of those for him and the Madison Square Garden crowd could be fired up.

Prediction: Rangers win 3-2.

Prop Bets of the Night

We’ve got some prop bets ready to go for tonight’s Game 2. The over/under might be a scary-low number at 5.5, but take that since it’s playoff hockey. As for the individuals, go with Aleksander Barkov to get the over on +0.5 points in this game. On the Rangers side, we’ll go with a solid game from Artemi Panarin. We like him getting the over on +0.5 assists.

Main photo by: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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