Florida Panthers – New York Rangers | Duel at the top in the East

The Florida Panthers are trying to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the second year in a row. The New York Rangers have the privilege of finding themselves in the final four for the second time in three years, but they have not participated in the final since 2014, the year when Chris Kreider screwed up the Carey Price’s knee.

These two teams play a different style of play, but seem equal at first glance. They have depth at all positions. First in front of the net, with Sergei Bobrovsky in front of the Panthers and his Russian compatriot Igor Shesterkin in front of the Rangers.

Then in defense as well. After Gustav Forsling, Aaron Ekblad, Brandon Montour and Niko Mikkola, the Panthers can count on a third pair made up of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Dmitry Kulikov. Their usage time is also well distributed, no defender has played more than 23 minutes per game since the start of the series.

It’s a bit the same thing with the Rangers with Adam Fox, K’Andre Miller, Jacob Trouba, Braden Schneider, Erik Gustavsson and Ryan Lindgren. Fox’s usage time remains under 24 minutes per game.

The two clubs also feature balanced trios, with Aleksander Barkov, Anton Lundell and Sam Bennett at center for Florida and Mika Zibanejad, Vincent Trocheck and Alexander Wennberg on the New York side, and offensive punch on the wings with Sam Reinhart, Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe in one camp, and Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Alexis Lafrenière in the other.

These two clubs do not find themselves in the association final by chance.

Players to watch



Alexander Barkov

Aleksander Barkov just won the Selke Trophy as Outstanding Defensive Forward and he represents the heart and soul of this club. He does everything on an ice rink. He has 13 points in 11 playoff games and even blocks shots with his hand…


Adam Fox remains the Rangers’ number one defenseman, but we hope for better offensive production from him. He was limited to four assists in ten playoff games.

Players in the shadows


After a modest season offensively, with only 35 points, Anton Lundell took advantage of the injury to Sam Bennett to step into the second line and he has amassed 9 points in 11 games so far.



Vincent Trocheck

He is in principle the second center in New York, but Vincent Trocheck has as many points (14 in 10 games) as the first counter Zibanejad and plays on average almost 3 minutes more than him per game, or 23 min 12 s.

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