Florida’s Tkachuk Closing In on 100-Point Season
The Rangers have been prone to some ups and downs this season and they are currently trending in the right direction with points in eight of the last nine games after Thursday’s win over Carolina.
The Panthers went 6-0-1 to put themselves right back into the playoff picture. However, they have dropped the last two games as they have allowed 12 goals on 51 shots in losses to Philadelphia and Toronto. Florida headed into the weekend just a point behind Pittsburgh in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
It will be an interesting matchup considering that the Rangers are 21-8-6 on the road and the Panthers are 21-11-4 at home.
Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk is fourth in the NHL with 56 points in home games and his plus/minus rating of +21 on home ice trails only Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Boston’s Hampus Lindholm.
Artemi Panarin is eighth in the NHL with 42 points in road games with Mika Zibanejad not far behind with 16 goals and 21 assists, so keep that in mind when making NHL picks.
According to NHL news, Defenseman Ryan Lindgren returned to the ice after missing 11 games in a row. However, he aggravated his upper-body injury and is back to being listed as day-to-day after missing Thursday’s win over Carolina.
For Florida, forward Sam Bennett is questionable, forward Patric Hornqvist is out for the season and goalie Spencer Knight is out indefinitely.
According to the NHL playoff odds, the Rangers (+1200) are tied for fifth in the odds to win the Stanley Cup title. The Panthers (+4000) are tied for 13th in the championship odds.
Tightening Things Up
The Rangers made a splash at the trade deadline with the acquisitions of forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane, who have combined for 11 30-goal seasons.
However, the key to the late-season surge has come in the Rangers’ own zone.
While posting a 7-1-1 record over the last nine games, the Rangers have posted a 1.78 goals-against average with only the Los Angeles Kings having a better mark. The Rangers lead the NHL by killing off 91% of the opposing power plays during that time.
Igor Shesterkin has led the way with a 6-1 record, 1.84 goals-against average and .942 save percentage during that stretch.
Defenseman Adam Fox is +5 over the last six games and he also scored the game-winning goal against Carolina on Thursday.
23 GWG on the 23rd in ’23, we don’t make the rules it’s only right #NoQuitInNY | @JagermeisterUSA pic.twitter.com/jb0nFSAXFF
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 24, 2023
The Las Vegas odds total has gone under in four of New York’s last five games.
At Home in the Sunshine State
Few trades were more eye-opening in the NHL in recent memory than the one that resulted in Matthew Tkachuk landing in Florida and Jonathan Huberdeau ending up in Calgary.
Tkachuk scored 104 points with Calgary last season and he needs three points to hit the 100-point mark with the Panthers.
He has scored goals in six straight games. He has seven goals and six assists during that span. Three of those goals have come on the power play and Tkachuk is trying to lead the Panthers into the playoffs
Tkachuk has no goals and one assist in his two games against the Rangers this season.
The NHL betting lines total has gone over in six of Florida’s last seven games.
Rangers vs Panthers Game Injuries
Rangers vs Panthers Head-to-Head
The Rangers have won three games in a row against the Panthers and that includes 5-3 and 6-2 wins in January.
Zibanejad had four goals and an assist in those two contests while Adam Fox, Panarin and Kaapo Kakko each had four assists.
There had been five consecutive one-goal games between the teams. However, the last three games have been decided by three, two and four goals. The last five times that the Panthers welcomed the Rangers to town, the game finished over the total.
Rangers vs Panthers Game Information
- Game: Rangers (47-20-10) vs Panthers (36-29-7)
- Location: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, FL
- Day/Time: Saturday, March 25, 5:07 p.m. ET
- Rangers vs Panthers Live Stream: NHL.TV
Rangers vs Panthers Betting Lines
Rangers vs Panthers Picks and Prediction
The Panthers have outshot the Rangers 70-54 in the first two games only to come out on the wrong side of the scoreboard in each game.
After combining for just three power-play opportunities in the first meeting, each team had four in the second game and they combined for three goals with the man advantage. Considering what is at stake, don’t be surprised if temperatures start to rise as the teams meet for the final time during the regular season.
The rest of the games this season for Florida are huge as the Panthers are fighting to get into the playoffs. However, it is hard to pick against the Rangers with the way they are playing right now.
The Panthers are 29-25-4 when listed by the sportsbook as the favorite. The Rangers are 9-9-5 as the underdog. New York has covered 21 of its 35 road games. Florida is just 15-21 against the spread at home.
Florida is listed at -120 our Las Vegas hockey odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Panthers, you have a chance to win $83. New York Rangers is +100, offering a chance to win $100 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Florida a 54.55% chance to win, with the Florida Rangers at 50.00%.