Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers Preview
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
When: Friday, March 17, 2017, 7:00 PM ET
Line: Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers – view all NHL lines
TV Broadcast: MSG, FSFL
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Betting on the Florida Panthers (30-28-11)
Florida’s losing woes show no sign of abating as the Panthers crashed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. The Panthers simply had no answer for Columbus forward Josh Anderson who had a goal and an assist in his return. It was another disappointing result for the reeling Panthers who have now lost nine of their last 11 games.
The Panthers, who now sit seven points out of a playoff spot with 13 games remaining, will look to get their season back on track when they lock horns with the New York Rangers this coming Friday. For Florida to do just that, it needs to improve on its play on the offensive end. The Panthers are averaging just 1.9 goals over their last nine losses. Not helping Florida’s cause is its poor conversion rate on its power play opportunities. The Panthers are 24th in the NHL in this particular department with a lowly 16.8 percent clip.
That being said, the Panthers will still fancy their chances against the Rangers as they have fared extremely well at the Garden of late. Florida defeated New York, 3-2, at MSG earlier this season. Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad scored the winning goals for the Panthers in that contest. Yandle has been a vital cog to Florida’s success this season, leading the team in assists with 31.
Betting on the New York Rangers (44-24-2)
The New York Rangers came crashing back to earth on Monday as they absorbed a stinging 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Rangers had difficulty stopping Brayden Point who scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 6:39 remaining. With the defeat, the Rangers have now lost two of their last three outings.
The Rangers will look to return to the win column when they square off with the Florida Panthers this coming Friday. For New York to grab the all-important victory, it needs to improve on its play on the defensive end. In their last two losses, opponents have scored an average of 3.5 goals. Another thing that’s concerning head coach Alain Vigneault at the moment is his team’s alarming home form. The Rangers have lost each of their last five games at the Garden, including four straight in regulation.
With regards to their offense, the Rangers are expected to ride the hot hand of Michael Grabner. He scored his team-leading 27th goal in the loss to Tampa Bay. The Austrian returned to action Sunday after being sidelined for five games with an injury sustained during practice. Among skaters to take at least 100 shots, Grabner ranks sixth in the National Hockey League with a 19.3 shooting percentage.
New York wins, 4-2.
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