Offense meets defense at FLA Live Arena on Saturday as the dynamic Florida Panthers (36-29-7) welcome the stifling New York Rangers (42-20-10).New York is coming off a 2-1 win over the Hurricanes on Thursday. Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox both scored once for the Rangers.
Panarin added an assist to share the scoring lead with Mika Zibanejad, who had two assists. Igor Shesterkin had a great performance with 29 saves (.966%) in the win.
Florida fell 6-2 to the Maple Leafs on Thursday. Matthew Tkachuk and Nick Cousins each scored once for the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky only had 21 saves on 26 shots against (.807%) in the loss.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Rangers have won both games between the teams this season, including a 6-2 victory in their most recent meeting in January, their third straight win against Florida.
Zibanejad (2G 1A), Fox (1G 2A), and Panarin (0G 3A) each had three points to lead New York. Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe were on the scoresheet for Florida. Shesterkin got the win, saving 33 of 35 shots (.942%).
New York is averaging 3.32 goals per game for the season, 11th in the NHL, and they are taking on a Panthers team that is allowing 3.42 goals a game (23rd).
Meanwhile, Florida has found the net 3.47 times a game on average, fourth in the league, and will be looking to break down the Rangers’ stout defense, which is holding opponents to 2.68 goals per game (5th).
Florida averages more shots/game (36.8) than any other team in the league, though the team’s 9.5% shooting percentage ranks 25th. With an average of 31.5 attempts, New York ranks 16th.
Don’t be surprised to see a few power play opportunities for the Rangers, as the Panthers have been penalized 4.64 times a game, most in the NHL, for an average of 11.69 minutes (second-highest).
The visitors are averaging 3.35 penalties (4th-fewest in the league) and 7.58 penalty minutes a game (4th-fewest).The Rangers’ 22.27% power play percentage ranks 10th in the league, while the Panthers are 11th with a conversion rate of 22.22%. In terms of defending power plays, New York has the league’s 13th-ranked PK% at 80.20%, while Florida is 27th at 74.41%.
With 82 and 79 points this season, Panarin and Zibanejad have been the top skaters for the Rangers. Panarin is among the league leaders with his 58 assists (9th). In the net, Shesterkin (33-12-7) is New York’s top goaltender.
He has a 2.55 GAA and a .914% save percentage.Tkachuk leads the Panthers in scoring with 97 points (4th in the league). He has 35 goals and 62 assists (7th) in 69 games. Bobrovsky (24-18-3) has the best goals against average for Florida at 3.03. He has a save percentage of .902%.
HOME AND AWAY
New York is 21-8-6 away from home this season. Florida is 21-11-4 at home this season.
SportsTips’ NHL Pick:
NY Rangers (-125)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.