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Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers: Picks, prediction for NHL Eastern Conference Finals series

The top two teams in the Eastern Conference will be going toe-to-toe in a heavyweight fight for this third round bout.

The Florida Panthers are looking to reach the Stanley Cup Final for a second-straight year, while the New York Rangers seek their first appearance since losing to the Los Angeles Kings in 2014.

Let's get into our picks and predictions for this series, beginning Wednesday night.

Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers series prediction

These two teams are an interesting matchup.

Both teams have the high-end talent. Both teams have solid goaltending. And both teams have some toughness.

So, what separates the Panthers and the Rangers?

It's the Panthers at 5-on-5 and the Rangers special teams.

If the Florida Panthers can keep this series at 5-on-5, they will have a great chance at taking down the Rangers. Florida has outscored their opposition 22-17 so far in the playoffs, and have the better percentage of shots, high danger chances, and expected goals hen compared to the Rangers.

However, the Rangers specials teams play has been spectacular. They have the third best power play and the second-best penalty kill this postseason. Normally, you want your power play and penalty kill to add up to 100. The Rangers’ special teams adds up to 120.9.

The Rangers have been getting a little lucky in these playoffs. They have the highest PDO among playoff teams. They have been winning games because of their special teams. And they've had some remarkable comebacks.

But now they are running into a Florida Panthers team that is built to win the Stanley Cup. They have elite talent in Barkov and Tkachuk. And they have Sam Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe for secondary scoring. They have a deep blueline and high-end goaltending. I think the Rangers luck runs out and the Panthers take care of business.

Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers series picks

Series Winner: Florida Panthers (-150)

Series Correct Score: Panthers to win 4-2 (+650)

View the latest Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers Eastern Conference Finals series odds here.

Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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