NHL's Eastern Conference Best Bets for Friday

The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers will look to extend their respective series tonight as both trail 3-2.

Below, you can look at the Eastern Conference games on tonight’s NHL slate and at some of our best bets on the FanDuel Sportsbook.

New York Rangers (-126) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (+105); Total: 6.5 (O+104/U-128)

The Blue Shirts found their rhythm in Game 5 after falling behind 2-0, as they recorded three goals in the second period in a span of 2:42, which ultimately led them to a 5-3 victory. Even though the Rangers extended the series to a Game 6 tonight on the road, the bigger story from Game 5 might have been the injury to Sidney Crosby, who left in the second period and didn’t return.

Crosby’s status for tonight’s Game 6 is currently unknown, but if you’re looking at the Penguins being home underdogs in this spot, you’d have to imagine that doesn’t spell good news for Pittsburgh’s captain to dress tonight.

Without Crosby in the lineup, it’s hard to see the Penguins matching up well against a Rangers team that can certainly roll their top-three lines, meaning there could be plenty of mismatches to take advantage of, even with the Pens having last change. New York was dominant in the second half of Game 5 and they should be able to extend this series tonight to a decisive Game 7 behind their high-scoring offense.

Best Bets: Rangers moneyline (-126)

Florida Panthers (-178) vs Washington Capitals (+146); Total: 6.5 (O-140/U+114)

This series could look a lot different if Garnet Hathaway’s shot attempt at an empty net near the end of Game 4 had gone in. That didn’t happen, the Panthers scored the tying goal moments later before Carter Verhaeghe scored the eventual overtime winner. Instead, the Panthers now have a chance to close this series out on the road after erasing a 3-0 deficit in Game 5 and coming out on top 5-3. Verhaeghe once again was exceptional for the highest-scoring offense in hockey, recording a career-high five points in the victory.

The Cardiac Cats have yet to see their big guns break out in this series and a lot of that credit should go to the Capitals and how they’ve been containing them, but it’s difficult to see that lasting with the success they’ve had this season. The Capitals had two chances to put the dagger in Florida’s season and weren’t able to do so, which is why we side with the momentum the Panthers have built and expect them to end Washington’s season tonight.

Best Bets: Panthers puckline -1.5 (+130)