Pick Florida Panthers to Beat New York Rangers In Game 1 of Eastern Conference Final

  • What: 2024 Eastern Conference Final Game 1
  • Who: Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers
  • Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
  • Location: Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS

The final series of the 2024 NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs begins on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden when the New York Rangers host the Florida Panthers. The Rangers made their way to the 2024 Eastern Conference Final, swept the Washington Capitals in the first round, and then downed the pre-playoff betting favorites to win the 2024 Stanley Cup, the Carolina Hurricanes in six games. The Panthers punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference Final by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games and then dispatching the Boston Bruins in six games.

The 2024 NHL Eastern Conference Final marks the second time the Panthers and Rangers have met in the NHL postseason. The first time they played came in 1997 when they met in the first round. The Rangers won that series in five games.

Since then, the Panthers have made the Stanley Cup Final once (2023), while the Rangers played for the Cup in 2014. Both teams fell short in their bid to win the Stanley Cup in those seasons. The Panthers lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in five games, and the Rangers fell to the Los Angeles Kings in five games. Florida has never won a Stanley Cup. The Rangers have won four times, with the most recent victory coming in 1994.

Before we look at the betting breakdown for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference NHL playoff series between the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers, check out our guide to betting on the 2024 NHL Playoffs and our tips for betting on the NHL.

Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers betting picks – Eastern Conference Final Game 1

BetOnline ReviewPuck LineMoney LineTotal
Florida Panthers-1.5 (+240)-113Ov 5.5 (+100)
New York Rangers+1.5 (-285)+100Un 5.5 (-116)

Florida Panthers betting breakdown

The Florida Panthers finished the 2024 NHL regular season with the best record in the Atlantic Division, 52-24-6. The team is looking to make it to the Stanley Cup Final for a second straight year. To do so, they have to beat the New York Rangers. The teams played three times in the 2024 regular season, with Florida winning the series 2-0-1, but all the games were competitive.

The Panthers play a pesky brand of hockey that is physical and offensive-minded. Players like Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk are potent on offense and can get under the opposition’s skin while playing a borderline style of hockey. Meanwhile, team captain Aleksander Barkov is playing some of the best two-way hockey of his career. Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky does not have eye-popping numbers this postseason (2.37 goals against average, .902 save percentage), but he’s doing enough to keep the Panthers in games.

Florida is averaging an Eastern Conference high of 3.55 goals per game, while allowing just 2.45 goals against. The Panthers’ power play is clicking at 22 percent, while the penalty kill is at 86.1 percent effectiveness. Florida has the most shots on goal per game in the East at 33 and has been allowing an average of 24.1 goals per game.

Florida PanthersTO BEAT NY RANGERS IN GAME 1
★★★★★
-117
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New York Rangers betting breakdown

The last time the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup was 1994. That team won the Presidents’ Trophy, opened the NHL playoffs on a 7-0 run, and had a star player score a natural hat trick in a pivotal contest. The same things have happened with the 2024 version of the Rangers on their way to the Eastern Conference Final. Coincidence? Yes, but superstition runs deep in hockey circles.

The Rangers don’t play a boring style of hockey, but they remain calm and poised, and when they get the chance to capitalize on mistakes, most notably when their opponents take penalties, they do so. The team could be better on defenseand they tend to give up more shots than they take, but their goaltender, Igor Shesterkin, has been one of the best netminders, if not the best, in the 2024 NHL playoffs. Against the Hurricanes, Shesterkin faced an average of 37.2 shots per game. Despite that output, he had a 2.80 GAA and .919 save percentage.

When it comes to offense, the Rangers are deeper than the Panthers. While Florida has three players with 10 or more points in the playoffs, the Rangers have five players with those numbers. The Rangers need to keep playing the way they have this postseason if they want to beat Florida. One key to that play is not getting distracted by players like Tkachuk and Bennett.

The Rangers are averaging 3.50 goals per game, while giving up 2.60. The team has a power play effeciency of 31.4 percent, and a penalty kill that is tops in the East at 89.5 percent. New York is averaging a relatively low 26 shots per game, while giving up more shots than any other team left in the postseason at 32.5.

New York RangersTO BEAT FLORIDA PANTHERS IN GAME 1
★★★★★
-105
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Best bets for Game 1 between Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers

The Florida Panthers will do what they do in Game 1, which is come out physical and try to bully the New York Rangers. That style is likely to set the Rangers on their heels in the first game of the 2024 Eastern Conference Final. I don’t know how effective that style will be during a long series, but it will work in Game 1. The betting pick is for the Florida Panthers to beat the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Florida PanthersTO BEAT NY RANGERS IN GAME 1
★★★★★
-115
Bet now

With the Rangers’ goaltending and the Panthers’ defense, the betting pick is for the teams to combine for under 5.5 goals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Panthers and RangersTO COMBINE FOR UNDER 5.5 GOALS IN GAME 1
★★★★★
-116
Bet now

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent is a professional sports journalist specializing in UFC, MMA, and esports coverage. His work has been featured in prestigious publications such as USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively. Trent's connection to MMA dates back to the early days when he and his friends pooled their resources to purchase the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 1. He also has extensive experience in esports, particularly League of Legends and Counter Strike, dating back to the game's launch.