Panthers vs. Rangers Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 odds, prediction, best sportsbook bonuses for NHL Playoffs

The New York Rangers host the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals tonight at Madison Square Garden. You can watch on ESPN starting at 8 p.m. ET. 

The Panthers are a -150 favorite to win the series at DraftKings, which is offering +130 odds on the underdog Rangers. This shapes up as an ultra-competitive series that could well go seven games.

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Panthers vs. Rangers Game 1 odds at top sports betting apps

Check out live Hurricanes vs. Rangers odds at top-rated sportsbooks for Game 1:

Florida, which lost to Vegas in the finals last year, is the betting favorite to win the 2024 Stanley Cup.

Florida Panthers betting trends 

There’s plenty of offensive firepower for both sides, but this series also showcases a matchup between two of the best goaltenders in the NHL.

Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky has started all 11 playoff games, posting an 8-3 record and a .902 save percentage. Bobrovsky was masterful in stopping 22 of 23 shots in Florida’s 2-1 win over Boston in Game 6.

The Panthers are scary good on offense with Matthew Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe leading Florida in postseason points.

  • Tkachuk (four goals, 10 assists, 14 points)
  • Barkov (five goals, eight assists, 13 points)
  • Verhaeghe (six goals, five assists, 11 points)
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We haven’t even mentioned Sam Reinhart, who led the Panthers with 57 goals and 94 points in the regular season. Reinhart leads the team with 48 shots in the playoffs. Florida rates the edge on defense with Brandon Montour (eight playoff points), former Ranger Niko Mikkola and Aaron Ekblad manning the blue line.

If there’s one area Florida could improve upon it’s the power play as the Panthers have only cashed in on 22% of their postseason chances with the man advantage. Florida is third in penalty kills among all playoff teams at 86.1%. 

More: Best NHL betting sites | 2024 Stanley Cup championship odds

New York Rangers betting trends

The Rangers are the only team to lose just two games during the playoffs. They reeled off wins in the first seven games after sweeping the Capitals and putting the Hurricanes in a 3-0 hole.

Goaltender Igor Shesterkin was a big factor in that success. The former Vezina Trophy winner is 8-2 with a 2.40 goals against average and .923 save %. 

There aren’t many teams that can match Florida’s explosiveness on offense, but New York’s top snipers have come up huge in the playoffs. Artemi Panarin, who led the Blueshirts with 49 goals and 120 points in the regular season, has four game-winning goals in the playoffs.

Chris Kreider scored a natural hat trick (three consecutive goals by a single player) in the third period to bounce Carolina in Game 6. He leads the Rangers with seven playoff goals. Vincent Trocheck and Mika Zibanejad pace New York with 14 playoff points.

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The Rangers have been dominant on special teams, too, with a 31.4% conversion rate on the power play. New York has killed off nearly 90% of opponent power plays and tallied a league-best four shorthanded goals in the playoffs.  

This is about as even a series as you could want in the Eastern Conference Finals. New York aims to become the first team to win both the Presidents Cup (most wins in regular season) and Stanley Cup since Chicago in 2013.  

Hurricanes vs. Rangers prediction

Madison Square Garden will be rocking tonight, and the Rangers have used the home-ice advantage to go 4-1 this postseason. There’s very little that separates these two teams, and you can expect goaltending to be the difference in this game and the series. Look for New York to enjoy and covert on more high-dangers chances tonight, and Shesterkin to help the Rangers win as a short home dog.

Pick: Rangers on the moneyline

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