NHL Betting Preview (May 28): Rangers vs. Panthers Game 4 Predictions

Alex Wennberg #91 of the New York Rangers scores the game winning goal against Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Florida Panthers during overtime in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amerant Bank Arena on May 26, 2024 in Sunrise, Florida.

The NHL’s Eastern Conference Final enters a potential inflection point on Tuesday as the New York Rangers look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Florida Panthers. The Panthers, however, come in with many reasons to still believe in them and look to flip the script with a strong performance tonight. Let’s look at what’s at stake and what you can expect before puck drop!

Bet on Rangers vs. Panthers GM 4

NYR +140
FLA -165

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The moneyline favourites are the Panthers, coming in between -167 and -188 at the top Canadian sportsbooks.

Rangers vs. Panthers Best Odds

Rangers Moneyline Odds+151 @ Pinnacle
Panthers Moneyline Odds-167 @ TonyBet
Puckline oddsRangers +1.5 (-174) @ Pinnacle
Stars +1.5 (+158) @ Caesars
Series oddsRangers -155, Panthers +130 @ bet365
Total Over 5.5 goals (+105) @ BetMGM
Under 5.5 goals (-114) @ Pinnacle
Time/DateMay 28, 8:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Last Matchup

Game 3 had many twists and turns right from the start of the action. The Panthers took a very early lead via Sam Reinhart’s power-play tally just three minutes in but were quickly met by a pair of Rangers goals to put them on the other side of the looking glass. However, history repeated itself before the period could end, as Reinhart once again converted on the power play with a little over five minutes remaining.

Late in the second period, the Rangers pulled ahead again, scoring two goals in three minutes, one of which came shorthanded. The Panthers, who dominated puck possession throughout the game, showed no interest in rolling over, tying the game in the third with their own quick-strike pair. This forced overtime, and just like in Game 2, the Rangers secured the victory, this time through Alex Wennberg’s first goal of the playoffs.

Betting New York Rangers (10-3 SU, 10-3 ATS, 8-5 o/u)

It was a good night to be an Alex, with four of the nine goals coming from players with that shared first name. None of them were better than Alexis Lafreniere, however, as he scored two of the four and was easily the Rangers’ most impactful player. The 2020 first-overall pick took big strides towards his past hype this year with 28 goals and 57 points in the regular season and now has 12 points in 13 playoff games after going pointless in seven last season. He also led the Rangers on Sunday with six shots on goal.

On the flip side, New York is likely looking a little nervously at Jacob Trouba. While he did pick up two assists, the team was out-attempted 42-11 with him on the ice at 5-on-5, the worst among all Rangers blueliners. When he was off the ice, he was spending a good chunk of his time in the penalty box, taking three penalties including an extremely dicey hit on Evan Rodrigues, which he was lucky to skate away from with a minor penalty and a $5,000 supplementary fine. The Rangers actually came out ahead on his penalties thanks to Barclay Goodrow’s shorthanded goal, but the odds of that repeating itself are slim, so game planning around it isn’t ideal. They’ll need better from their captain tonight.

Betting Florida Panthers (9-5 SU, 5-9 ATS, 7-7 o/u)

While there is no such thing as a moral victory in the playoffs, you can take positive signs from defeat, and that’s what the Panthers will ultimately have to do here. Because looking under the hood at Game 3, it’s difficult to say that the Panthers weren’t the better team for the vast majority of the evening. Florida out-attempted New York 83-36 at 5-on-5, outshot them 28-19, and out-chanced them 32-15 – leading in all three of those metrics in all three periods and overtime according to Natural Stat Trick’s data.

Particularly dominant in this regard was the second line of Matthew Tkachuk, Anton Lundell, and Carter Verhaeghe – in the 6:01 they played together at 5-on-5, they out-attempted the Rangers 15-0, though only three of those attempts hit the net, and all three of those were stopped by Igor Shesterkin. Tkachuk individually had an insane attempt split of 35-4, a shot split of 12-2, and somehow managed to be on for a goal against. Hockey is a weird sport like that.

One huge difference in the game was in goal. While Igor Shesterkin’s save percentage wasn’t particularly gaudy, he was well-positioned to force Florida into a lot of attempts that he didn’t even have to save. On the other hand, Sergei Bobrovsky has had better nights, allowing five goals on 23 shots. Bobrovsky had a strong first two games in this series, along with a quality series-ender against Boston, but generally hasn’t lived up to the reputation he built up in last year’s Stanley Cup Final run. They’ll be looking to him for a rebound performance in Game 4.

Projected Rangers vs. Panthers Lines

Today’s New York Rangers LinesToday’s Florida Panthers Lines
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Filip Chytil
Artemi Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Alexis Lafreniere
Jack Roslovic – Alex Wennberg – Kaapo Kakko
Will Cuylle – Barclay Goodrow – Matt Rempe

Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Erik Gustafsson – Braden Schneider

Starting In Goal
Igor Shesterkin
PO: 10-3-0, 2.26 GAA, 0.925 SV%
Season: 36-17-2, 2.56 GAA, 0.913 SV%
Vladimir Tarasenko – Aleksander Barkov – Sam Reinhart
Carter Verhaeghe – Anton Lundell – Matthew Tkachuk
Eetu Luostarinien – Sam Bennett – Evan Rodrigues
Steven Lorentz – Kevin Stenlund – Kyle Okposo

Gustav Forsling – Aaron Ekblad
Niko Mikkola – Brandon Montour
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Dmitry Kulikov

Starting In Goal
Sergei Bobrovsky
PO: 9-3-2, 2.31 GAA, 0.903 SV%
Season: 36-17-4, 2.37 GAA, 0.915 SV%

Both teams are playing at nearly full capacity for this one, which is great news for any fan. These playoffs have gone well for the favourites, meaning we’re seeing some of the deepest teams in the league play late into the season.

The most significant lineup changes tonight come on the Florida end, with a shift to their fourth line. Ryan Lomberg and Nick Cousins are coming out, being replaced by Kyle Okposo and Steven Lorentz.

Igor Shesterkin over 29.5 saves


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Rangers vs. Panthers Injury Concerns

The Rangers remain without Jimmy Vesey, who is week-to-week after a hit from Ryan Lomberg suffered in Game 2. Blake Wheeler also likely remains out – he’s been out of the lineup with a lower-body injury since February but has recently flirted with a return, even dressing in warmups for Game 3.

The Panthers are fully healthy, at least in terms of availability.

  • The Rangers have had the upper hand in seven of the past 10 games between these two teams, dating back to February 2022. They also have the puckline edge at 7-3, and despite the heavyweight battle in net, the total goals over has hit in eight of 10 games.
  • The Panthers are 6-4 in their last 10 games, with a 4-6 record against the puckline and an even 5-5 split across the total goals line.
  • The Rangers are 7-3 in their last 10 games, with an 8-2 record against the puckline and a 6-4 edge to the over against the total goals line.
  • Vincent Trocheck leads the Rangers with 13 points over their last 10 games, co-leading the team in assists (eight) and leading in shots on goal (31). Alexis Lafreniere has the most goals in that stretch with six.
  • Despite bottom-six minutes, New York forward Barclay Goodrow is lighting the lamp, scoring five goals in his last 10 games and four in his last five.
  • Aleksander Barkov leads the way for the Panthers, with a team-leading six goals and 13 points over their last 10 games. Matthew Tkachuk leads the team in assists in that stretch with nine, while Sam Reinhart has the most shots with 40.

Rangers vs. Panthers Predictions

  • If you believe the superstars will shine bright tonight, bet365 has a whopper of a boosted same-game parlay, featuring three goals from both teams and individual goals from Matthew Tkachuk and Artemi Panarin. This is a bit of a longshot, with only one of the games in this series featuring three goals on both sides, Tkachuk only scoring once in his last eight games, and Panarin being goalless in his last six. Basically, you’re swinging on a mold-breaker here. If that sounds like your jam, you can pick this bet up at +1600 on bet365, up from +1400.
  • A player who I do like to get on the board tonight is Carter Verhaeghe. He’s already got two goals in this series, and points in his last four games. He’s controlled the pace of play while he’s been on the ice and it feels likely that that will continue. His best value for a goal is on Sports Interaction (+170), and his best value for a point is on bet99 (-190).
  • I’ve got no doubt that the Panthers will continue to pepper Igor Shesterkin with pucks. His save line is at 29.5 on most books – I’d take the over at -108 on Betano, though they also have the best value on the under at -114.

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