NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Rangers vs Panthers Game 3 (Sunday, May 26)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Rangers vs Panthers Game 3 (Sunday, May 26) article feature image

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Rangers vs Panthers Odds

Sunday, May 26
3 p.m. ET
Rangers Odds+130
Panthers Odds-156
Over / Under
+104o / -128u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Rangers vs Panthers odds for Game 3 on Sunday, May 26 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

A raucous Madison Square Garden painted the perfect scene for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Barclay Goodrow of the Rangers ripped a snapshot over the right shoulder of Sergei Bobrovsky of the Panthers in overtime to even up the series 1-1. It was a close battle, as both goalies stole the show, with both teams playing an extremely tight defensive game.

Now we look to Game 3 in Sunrise, Florida, where the Panthers play host in this series. Florida struggled at home in the conference semifinals against Boston, winning only one out of three matchups. The Rangers, on the other hand, thrived on the road, winning four out of five matches played in these playoffs.

Who takes Game 3 tonight to lead the series? Let’s dive in and make a Rangers vs. Panthers prediction.

New York Rangers

New York dominated the first half of the first period, until Florida took control of the second half. Vincent Trocheck started the game off with an early goal to get the Rangers going.

The power play has really struggled of late though. For a team that has heavily relied on their power play for most of the season, pucks haven’t gotten past of late. Dating back to the previous round against Carolina, New York is only 1-of-15 with the man advantage. That’s a daunting difference from its third-best 26% on the power play this season.

One would have to think the Rangers are due for some special teams success. Trocheck, Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider are power-play specialists. Not to mention, former Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox has been held goalless in this postseason.

Historically, New York’s 5-on-5 play has lacked, with a 48.82 xGF% (expected goals) in these playoffs. For context, no other team that’s still alive is below a 50 xGF%. Usually below-average 5-on-5 teams don’t make it far. Luckily, the Rangers have goaltending on their side.

Igor Shesterkin has been lights out in his 12 starts. The former Vezina Trophy winner has posted a second-best .926 SV% (leading all goalies remaining), as well as a 9.8 goals saved above expected (GSAx).

Florida Panthers

Contrary to their counterparts, the Panthers are dynamic at 5-on-5 play. They drive play at such an efficient pace with a 55.45 xGF%, and defensively are fourth best with a 2.79 xGA/60. However, the play of Shesterkin has stifled them to an extent.

Carter Verhaeghe has been a stallion all playoffs. The veteran continues to show up in big moments and he has already posted a career-best eight postseason goals, including one in Game 2.

Florida’s power play has also struggled mightily. It’s only converted twice out of its last 18 attempts, whereas during the regular season it scored at a 23.5% pace. Verhaeghe’s power-play goal last night ended a dry spell that carried on for 10 tries.

The presence of Matthew Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov has been profound, with both averaging a point per game. Barkov has also had an immense effect on the defensive end as the reigning Selke Trophy winner.

A glaring hole has been created by Sam Reinhart. After scoring 57 goals this season, he’s struggled by only scoring twice in his past nine games. One would think he’s due  since he’s generating chances, but he’s snakebitten.

For the second straight postseason, the veteran Bobrovsky has had a really strong showing. He may not be at the level Shesterkin is at, but he’s making saves when they need to be made. He’s playing to a .912 SV% and a 6.3 GSAx.

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Rangers vs Panthers

Betting Pick & Prediction

I’m targeting two factors in tonight’s game. Given how this series has been played, I would be stunned if this goes over 5.5 goals. The first two games have been a chess match, with elite goaltending.

Secondly, I think Reinhart breaks the dry spell. All season long, he was a monster on the power play, and even with his struggles on the scoresheet, he has placed near the top in Corsi, expected goals and high-danger chances.

FanDuel has Reinhart scoring at +145, which is the most favorable odds, so it seems to think he is due as well.

Pick: Under 5.5 (-128 via FanDuel) | Sam Reinhart anytime goalscorer (+145 via FanDuel)

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