New York Rangers vs. Florida Panthers Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Matching up for the third and final time this year, the New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers face off at the BB&T Center in an Eastern Conference tilt. The first puck will drop at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 10, and fans at home can view the game live on MSG Network.

New York Rangers vs. Florida Panthers Odds

New York (+205) is currently the underdog to Florida (-245) and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at 7 goals. The odds for betting the total sit at -105 money on the over and -115 on the under.

Netting moneyline bettors 1.4 units, Florida is 33-32 straight up (SU) overall thus far. That early-season winning percentage is a welcome improvement over the 35-47 record from last years regular season campaign. Among the teams 65 games this season, 33 have gone over the total, while 32 have gone under and none have pushed. The team is 20-12 SU at home this season.

The Panthers have converted on 19.7 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 18th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 79.8 percent of all penalties.

As a team, the Panthers have been penalized 4.3 times per game overall this season, and 3.3 per game over their past ten games. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays for a whopping 14.6 minutes per game over their last five outings, overall.

Averaging 27.8 saves per game with a .907 save percentage, James Reimer (16-20-5) has been the primary option in goal for the Panthers this year. If Florida decides to give him a breather, however, head coach Bob Boughner could roll with Roberto Luongo (13-11-11 record, .930 save percentage, 2.50 goals against average).

The Panthers will continue to look for leadership via Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck. Barkov (68 points) has put up 25 goals and 43 assists and has recorded two or more points 19 times this year. Trocheck has 26 goals and 34 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 42 games.

New York is 30-38 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 68 regular season outings, 35 of its games have gone over the total, while 31 have gone under and just two have pushed. As the road team, the Rangers are 12-21 SU.

The Rangers have converted on 20.3 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked fifth overall and it’s successfully killed off 83.2 percent of all opponent power plays.

New York’s players have been penalized 3.5 times per game this season, 3.0 per game over their past five games total, and 3.6 per game over their last five road outings. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 7.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Henrik Lundqvist (.916 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average) has been the main option in goal for New York. Lundqvist is averaging 29.1 saves per game and has 25 wins, 32 losses, and five overtime losses to his credit.

Leading the offensive attack for the visiting Rangers will be Vladislav Namestnikov (21 goals, 25 assists) and Mats Zuccarello (11 goals, 34 assists).

New York Rangers at Florida Panthers Betting Predictions

Free Pick: SU Winner – Panthers, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Four of Florida’s last ten outings have been decided by two or more goals, and the team is 3-1 overall in those games.
  • Penalties and power plays may be even more critical than usual in the outcome of this one. The Rangers are 11-14 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 19-22 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Panthers are 12-16 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 15-19 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Florida is 2-3 in games decided by a shootout this season while New York is 3-4 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone under in four of Florida’s last five games.
  • Florida is ranked 29th this season with 12.2 giveaways per game. That figure has trended higher recently, as it’s averaged 16.0 giveaways over its last 10 games and 17.2 giveaways over its last five.
  • New York skaters have averaged 11.8 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 12.9 giveaways per game (ranked 31st).