Matthew Tkachuk and the Florida Panthers look to take a 2-0 series lead against the New York Rangers when the 2024 NHL Eastern Conference Final continues on Friday. The Panthers battled to a 3-0 victory on Game 1 on Wednesday thanks to aggressive play from Tkachuk and the offense, as well as some big late-game saves from Sergei Bobrovsky. Meanwhile, Igor Shesterkin was the Rangers' only line of defense as the home team was shut out for the first time in the 2024 NHL playoffs.

Opening faceoff at Madison Square Garden is set for 8 p.m. ET. Florida is a -113 favorite (risk $113 to win $100) on the money line in the latest Rangers vs. Panthers odds from SportsLine consensus while New York is a slight -107 underdog. The over/under for total goals scored is 5.5 and Florida is a -1.5 (+230) favorite on the puck line. Before making any Panthers vs. Rangers picks, you need to check out the NHL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

SportsLine's model simulates every NHL game 10,000 times, taking into account factors like current form, individual matchups, injuries and short- and long-term trends when making NHL picks. It entered the 2024 NHL playoffs on a 7-4 run on top-rated puck-line picks.     

Now, the model has set its sights on Rangers vs. Panthers and just locked in its NHL picks and predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the latest NHL odds and trends for Panthers vs. Rangers: 

  • Rangers vs. Panthers money line: New York -107, Florida -113
  • Rangers vs. Panthers over/under: 5.5 goals
  • Rangers vs. Panthers puck line: Florida -1.5 (+230)
  • NYR: Shut out for the first time in the playoffs in Game 1
  • FLA: 2-0-0 in Game 2s leading up to the ECF
  • Rangers vs. Panthers picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why you should back the Panthers

Expect Florida to keep playing a physical game that frustrates New York into making mistakes. The Panthers forced the Rangers into 12 giveaways and outhit them 38-27, while also winning the faceoff battle at 51.3%. Florida also showed off its depth in Game 1, as fourth-line winger Ryan Lomberg led all skaters with seven hits and never went to the penalty box.

It also helps the Panthers that Bobrovsky is hot at the right time in the postseason. While the Aaron Ekblad-led defense had a solid performance in front of him, the netminder also made a series of huge saves on a flurry from New York in the third period that could have tied the game up 1-1. He'll aim to be just as sharp in Game 2. See who to back at SportsLine

Why you should back the Rangers

Shesterkin has been the Rangers' most consistent player in these playoffs, and that should continue in Game 2. Remember, this is the same netminder who saw 45-plus shots in back-to-back games last round and didn't wither. Shesterkin should have another strong performance if he can get some help in front of the net and on the other end of the ice.

The Rangers had the second-best home record in the 2024 NHL regular season and they will aim to play a much cleaner game in front of their home fans on Friday. New York will also aim to get its power play clicking again, as the Rangers are the second-best team on the man advantage left in the playoffs, while the Panthers are one of the most penalized teams. Look for the top power-play unit of Chris Kreider, Vincent Trocheck, Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox to turn up the intensity in Game 2. See who to back at SportsLine

How to make Rangers vs. Panthers picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 6.1 combined goals. It also says one side of the money line is the better value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Panthers vs. Rangers, and which side of the money line is the better value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Panthers vs. Rangers money line to jump on Friday, all from the advanced model that has simulated this matchup 10,000 times.