Florida Panthers (+118) vs. New York Rangers (-142) Total: 6.5 (O-114, U-106)
Entering the regular season, the Panthers and Rangers were expected to be two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, but really only one of these franchises has held up their end of the bargain. It’s been a relatively disappointing season for the Panthers after winning the President’s Trophy last year, while the Rangers have found success again after making the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Rangers and Panthers have already met once back on January 1, which saw New York pick up a 5-3 victory. The Panthers have been playing slightly better hockey lately, posting a 7-2-1 record over their past ten games and having won two straight. The Rangers aren’t much worse off, though, sitting at 6-2-2 over that same sample size. The home side is listed as favorites on the moneyline tonight at -142, while the Panthers are priced at +118.
Looking toward the projected goalie matchup tonight, the visiting Panthers are expected to start Alex Lyon, while the Rangers should do the same with Igor Shesterkin. The Panthers netminder has posted a 2-0 record, paired with a .912 save percentage, while Shesterkin is sitting at 20-8-6, along with a .917 save percentage. The Rangers should have a sizable advantage in net tonight and also be able to make life difficult on the inexperienced Panthers goalie.
The Panthers might be playing better hockey at the moment, but the Rangers are a really serious threat in the East, and there’s value in expecting them to show that side of their game tonight. As a result, looking toward the home team tonight on the moneyline has some value at -142 that’s worthy of consideration.
Best Bet: Rangers moneyline (-142)
We’ve already seen these teams combine for eight goals just three weeks ago, but does that mean we should expect something similar tonight? These teams are opposites on the ice, with the Panthers scoring at the fifth-highest clip in the NHL while the Rangers sit fifth in goals allowed per game. Things aren’t as great on the other side of the equation for either side, which is also noteworthy here. Over the Panthers past five games, four have seen seven or more goals scored, while that’s only held true in one game for the Rangers. With New York dictating the matchups tonight with last change, look for this game to be lower-scoring than the last one.
Best Bet: Under 6.5 (-106)
The Rangers may not have a high-scoring offense, but there’s still talent across their lineup that should be attractive on this slate of games. Chris Kreider hasn’t put up the goal totals he did one year ago, but he’s still tallied 19 goals on the campaign and has continued to be one of the game’s best power forwards. In a matchup against a Panthers team that has trouble keeping the puck out of their net, this is a good area to target him to score in. Kreider is currently priced at +174 to light the lamp tonight, which is excellent value on this small slate.
Best Prop: Chris Kreider to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+174)
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