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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|O 6.5 (+100)
|New York Rangers||+1.5
|U 6.5 (-120)
Two excellent teams will be facing each other in this game.
The Florida Panthers are the best team in the league, and the New York Rangers are in a comfortable playoff spot. If the Panthers win, they will cement themselves as the best team in the league. If the Rangers win, they will tie the Carolina Hurricanes for 1st place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Florida Panthers have been playing outstanding hockey. They are on a tear and have only lost three games since the NHL returned from postponement.
The Panthers have a near-elite goaltender in Sergei Bobrovsky, one of the best wingers in the NHL in Jonathan Huberdeau, and a big-time defenseman in Aaron Ekblad.
The New York Rangers have played well since the NHL returned, but not as well as the Panthers. They have lost six games since the NHL came back. The Rangers have a top-five goaltender in Igor Shesterkin, the best defenseman in the NHL in Adam Fox, and an incredible scorer in Chris Kreider.
The Rangers have a good enough roster to make a deep playoff run; they just need to string some wins together.
Florida Panthers beat New York Rangers 4-2. Florida Panthers cover, Under 6.5 goals.
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|Florida Panthers||Head-to-Head||New York Rangers|
|Andrew Burnette||Head Coach||Gerald Gallant|
|32-9-5 (1st in Atlantic Division)||Standing||29-13-4 (2nd in Metropolitan Division)|
|Jonathan Huberdeau (63)||Points||Artemi Panarin (49)|
|Aleksander Barkov (21)||Goals||Chris Kreider (31)|
|Jonathan Huberdeau (46)||Assists||Adam Fox (40)|
|Aaron Ekblad (30)||+/-||Ryan Lindgren (16)|
|Sam Bennett (3.44)||Shots (Per Game)||Chris Kreider (3.13)|
The Florida Panthers are the better team. They are more well-rounded and have more momentum. This will still be a tough matchup, though. The Panthers cannot become complacent and need to focus on avoiding committing penalties and overwhelming the Rangers with shots.
The New York Rangers have an efficient power-play unit. They convert on almost 25% of their power-play opportunities. The Panthers cannot give the Rangers those opportunities. This will be difficult because the Panthers are one of the more penalized teams in the NHL. They have been penalized 179 times for 432 PIM.
That is simply too much. The Panthers need to be cognisant of not drawing penalties if they want to win.
The Panthers shoot a lot. They average 36.6 shots per game. That is one of the reasons they score over four goals a game.
They must continue doing that in this game. They will likely be going against Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin. Shesterkin is one of the league’s best and does not let in many goals. Since Shesterkin is so dominant, they have to overwhelm with shots.
The New York Rangers are the underdog, but they can win this game.
They have some very talented players who can carry the load on offense and defense and lead them to victory. However, they do need to focus on getting second-chance shots and slowing down Jonathan Huberdeau, if they want any shot of pulling off a victory.
The Rangers do not shoot that much. They average 28.3 shots per game. It is impressive that they are winning as much as they are with how little they shoot. They need to step up their shooting in this game, especially near the net. They have to crash the net and look for every possibly second-chance shot they can get. They might be to slip one puck past Shesterkin that way.
Jonathan Huberdeau is having another career year. He has such a positive impact on the Panthers and must be slowed down by the Rangers. Huberdeau averages one assist a game, so the Rangers should be looking to limit that.
Left-winger Jonathan Huberdeau is an incredible talent. His talent has been recognized, and he was voted to his seventh All-Star Game. The tenth-year player has 17 goals, 46 assists, and a +/- of 19.
Huberdeau has been in the NHL for a while, but he may be in his prime right now. He has only gotten better over the last few years and is on track for over 100 points this season. The Rangers defensemen need to recognize how talented he is and treat him as priority #1. If they do, they might be able to stop him from getting an assist or goal this game.
There are a few Rangers I could have picked to be the key player. I picked Chris Kreider because his goal-scoring ability sets him apart. He leads his team with 31 goals and is tied for most goals in the league with Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl. Kreider was just named to the All-Star team for his strong performance this season.
Kreider is especially dangerous on the power-play. 15 of his 31 goals have come on the power-play. Since Kreider is always a scoring threat, the Panthers defensemen need to treat him as such. A Rangers victory or defeat could hinge on Chris Kreider.
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|Florida Panthers vs New York Rangers Information|
|What||Florida Panthers vs New York Rangers Lightning|
|Where||Madison Square Garden. New York City, New York|
|When||Tuesday, February 1, 7:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN+, Hulu|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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