Panthers vs Rangers Odds | Game 2 Preview, Prediction

Panthers vs Rangers Odds | Game 2 Preview, Prediction article feature image

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Panthers vs. Rangers Odds

Friday, May 24
8:30 p.m. ET
Panthers Odds-110
Rangers Odds-110
Over / Under
+105o / -125u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Panthers vs Rangers odds for Game 2 on Friday, May 24 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

Game 2 between the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers promises to be another battle. Despite the 3-0 tally in the series opener, the game came down to the wire, with New York hitting multiple posts before a fluky own goal proved to be the dagger late in the third period. 

The Rangers, who had won the first game of their past four playoff series and hadn’t trailed in a series this postseason, will look to avoid heading to Florida with a 2-0 deficit. 

Let’s get into my Panthers vs. Rangers Game 2 preview and prediction

Florida Panthers

After struggling a bit toward the end of the regular season, the Panthers have gotten back to the smothering defensive style that makes them such a difficult opponent in the playoffs.

While the Rangers managed to generate a few high-danger chances, Florida held them to just 24 shots on goal, marking the fifth time in its past six games that it held its opponent to less than 25 shots. Through the first two periods on Wednesday, Sergei Bobrovsky tallied just 12 saves. 

When relied upon, though, especially in the third period, Bobrovsky was brilliant once again, stopping 2.69 goals above expected for his first shutout of the playoffs. He is 9-3 in this year’s playoffs with a .910 SV% and a 2.17 GAA.

The Panthers will likely be looking to generate a few more high-quality looks on offense in Game 2. While they out-possessed the Rangers in Game 1 thanks largely to their relentless forecheck, Florida struggled to create much of particular danger after the first period. Matthew Tkachuk scored the Panthers’ only real goal late in the opening frame, beating Igor Shesterkin from distance with some help from a partial screen by Adam Fox.

Shesterkin probably wants that one back, and it's safe to expect him to be sharper on Friday. 

New York Rangers

The Rangers will need to be better going forward if they’re going to squeak past Florida, but there’s no reason for significant panic after Game 1. New York didn’t appear overmatched or outclassed in the manner many have insinuated.

While the Rangers unsurprisingly struggled to sustain offensive-zone time, they generated several quality looks off the rush and arguably had the better of the scoring chances despite not owning the puck. New York’s offense came in flurries, but Braden Schneider hit the post on a breakaway during a late first-period surge, Will Cuylle was stoned by Bobrovsky on a breakaway early in the second period and Alexis Lafreniere hit the post in the third period amid another scramble. There was no shortage of opportunities to tie the game.

Ultimately, the Rangers couldn’t cash in on their two power plays and Shesterkin wasn’t as dominant as usual, allowing -0.4 goals above expected, but their defensive game was solid.

Heading into Game 2, it’ll be interesting to see what New York does with its lineup. Peter Laviolette has a fully healthy squad for the first time since early November, which meant that Matt Rempe was scratched in Game 1, alongside Blake Wheeler and Jonny Brodzinski.

Look for Rempe or Wheeler to potentially slot in for Cuylle or Jack Roslovic in Game 2.

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Panthers vs. Rangers

Betting Pick & Prediction

With their backs against the wall, I'm expecting a much better start from the Rangers on Friday. Look for them to throw lots of pucks at Bobrovsky and create more traffic as they try to solve the Russian netminder.

New York's resilience has been its MO all season, and I don't expect that to change, even against an extremely strong opponent. While neither of these teams has played a particularly close series thus far, this feels like the type of battle that'll be 1-1 after two games and 2-2 after four.

Thus, I'm taking the Rangers, who are underdogs at Madison Square Garden, to bounce back in Game 2.

Pick: Rangers Moneyline (-104 at FanDuel | Play to -110)

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