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NHL Predictions: May 26 w/ New York Rangers vs Florida Panthers

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 New York Rangers vs Florida Panthers. 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: ABC, Sportsnet, TVAS, CBC

The Rangers evened up the series with a clutch goal from Barclay Goodrow in overtime. Goodrow’s regular season numbers aren’t the best, but the player has been a post-season standout many times. Florida did get what it wanted by splitting the first two games at Madison Square Garden. This means the series boils down to essentially a Best-of-Five.

Let’s take a look at the storylines between the Rangers and the Panthers in this round of NHL predictions. The series now shifts to Sunrise and the Blueshirts try to wrest home-ice back in the next two games.

The Rangers Story

New York will be without Jimmy Vesey, who will be out week-to-week. Head coach Peter Laviolette scratched Kappo Kakko in Game 2 and he could make his way back into the lineup. However, this situation could open the door for Blake Wheeler to return to the lineup. Wheeler had been out for the Rangers since November.

Vincent Trocheck has been the bellwether for the Rangers. He’s been held without a point in all three of the Blueshirts’ post-season defeats. The Panthers know they have to stop Trocheck, who leads the team in points with 16.

Igor Shesterkin will draw the start in this game for the Rangers. He’s been strong in the post-season for New York and will need to be again.

The Panthers Story

Florida did accomplish a split and that’s always a good thing for a lower-seeded team. The Panthers heavier and more physical style of play has been effective so far this series. Players like Matthew Tkachuk and others have been able to throw their weight around. However, Florida did feel it should be coming home with a 2-0 series lead.

Tkachuk has also been filling up the scoresheet as well. He leads the team with 16 points while Carter Verhaeghe leads the team in goals with eight. Verhaeghe has been a post-season menace his entire career.

Sergei Bobrovsky will get the call in goal once again for the Panthers. He’ll hope to repeat his Game 1 performance in a pivotal Game 3.


Goals have been hard to come by in this series. Game 2 was everything that the experts have said about the potential for the series. Tight and physical play along with close games is what many fans are hoping for.

One thing the Panthers could be considered with is they’ve lost two times at home already this post-season. However, Florida gets the series lead back in this one.

Prediction: Panthers win 3-2.

Prop Bets of the Day

We wrap up this edition of NHL predictions with some prop bets. These will make this one even more interesting. The under has been hit two straight games by the two teams. We’ve seen the number at 5.5 and that might be scary to some. However, we’ll go with the under in this one as well.

As for the team props, go with Adam Fox getting the over on +0.5 points in this one. For Florida, take Verhaeghe to get the over on +0.5 goals in this Game 3.

Main photo by: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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