Home News A breakdown of the Rangers potential opponents in the Eastern Conference Finals

A breakdown of the Rangers potential opponents in the Eastern Conference Finals

With a win on Monday night, the Rangers would return to a place they haven’t been in a few seasons.

The Blueshirts lead the series against Carolina 3-1 entering Monday night’s game. If the Rangers advance, they will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in three seasons. During the 2021-22 season, the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.

The Rangers would play either the Panthers or the Bruins in the next round. Florida currently leads the series 3-1, with Game 5 set for Tuesday night. The Panthers have outscored the Bruins 15-5 in the past three games.

The Rangers played both teams three times during the regular seasons.

Let’s delve into the potential matchups and see how the Rangers would fare against the Panthers or the Bruins.


The Panthers disposed of the Lighting 4-1 to reach the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Florida finished the regular season with the third-most points (110) in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers won the Atlantic Division, barely edging the Bruins (109).

Florida won the regular season series against the Rangers (1-2). However, the Blueshirts defeated the Panthers in the last meeting (4-3) between the two teams on March 24.

Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk have been the two catalysts for the Panthers throughout the playoffs. Both players have 13 points apiece, and Barkov is second on the team in goals this postseason.

Carter Verhaeghe is also on a tremendous run for the Panthers. He leads the team in goals (six) and is tied for fifth in assists (four).

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky‘s play is also a big reason the Panthers are on the brink of another conference finals appearance. He has a 2.55 goals-against average in nine games this postseason, fourth among goalies who have played at least eight or more playoff games.

Special Teams has also carried Florida during its 2024 playoff run. The Panthers have gone 6-for-18 on the power play and 8-for-9 on the penalty kill in their last three games.


Boston reached the second round after defeating Toronto in seven games. But the Bruins have lost three consecutive games to the Panthers after their 5-1 win in Game 1.

Boston captain Brad Marchand missed Game 4 after being hit in the head by Sam Bennett in Game 3. He skated Monday morning and will travel with the team to Florida.

If the Bruins are going to come back from a 3-1 deficit, they certainly need Marchand back on the ice. He is the team’s leading scorer in the playoffs with 10 points in 10 games.

“Our guys played well [Sunday] night,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said on Monday. “We had a 2-0 lead, they clawed their way back into the game and we didn’t get it done.

“It’s no different than the way Toronto felt down 3-1 to us and how we felt last year, the fact that they gained momentum. We just have to go down and win a hockey game. Go out and execute the way we’re capable of and we’ll be fine.”

The Bruins’ special teams have been an issue throughout the series with the Panthers. They are 1-for-15 with an extra-man advantage against the Panthers.

The Bruins’ penalty kill has also been an Achilles heel. The Panthers have six power-play goals in the series, including four in their 6-2 victory against the Bruins in Game 3.

The Rangers won all three games against the Bruins during the regular season. In their final regular season matchup on March 21, the Rangers defeated the Bruins 5-2 in Boston behind three Artemi Panarin goals. Rangers backup goaltender Jonathan Quick also stopped 24 of 26 shots.


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