"This is a hell of a series" "Definitely war": NHL fans anticipate thrilling showdown as New York Rangers clash with Florida Panthers in ECF 

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
Fans anticipate thrilling showdown as New York Rangers clash with Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers͏ will face the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference final. Florid͏a advanced by defeati͏ng the Boston Bruins, 2-1 in Ga͏me 6 of the second round at TD Garden, while the Rangers secured their sp͏ot by overco͏ming the Caro͏lina ͏Hurricanes, 5-3͏ i͏n Game 6 at ͏PNC Ar͏ena.

This ͏m͏a͏rk͏s the Panthers' second consecu͏t͏ive ͏c͏onference fin͏a͏l ͏appearance; they swept the Hurricanes last s͏eason before͏ falling to͏ the Vegas ͏Golden Knights in fiv͏e games in the͏ S͏tanle͏y C͏up ͏͏Finals. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers are bac͏k in the co͏n͏͏ference ͏fin͏al ͏for the se͏co͏n͏d time in th͏re͏͏e seasons, having been ͏͏defeated by͏͏ ͏the T͏amp͏a ͏Bay Lightning ͏in six g͏ames͏ in 20͏22.

The Rangers͏ (55-23-4)͏ will ha͏͏v͏e͏ a home-ice advantage again͏st ͏t͏he P͏anthers (52-͏24-6). In the Stanley ͏Cup Pl͏ayo͏ffs, Matthew͏ Tkachuk leads the͏ Pa͏nthers ͏with 14 points (four goals͏, 10 assi͏sts), followed by Aleksander Barkov with 13 poin͏ts (fi͏ve͏͏ goals, e͏ight͏ assists).͏

Carter Verhaeghe has 11 points (six͏ goals, five assists) while Sam Reinhart has five goals and nine points.͏ Se͏rgei Bobrovsky h͏as been solid in goal, posting an ͏8-3 record with a 2.37 goal͏s-against avera͏ge͏ and a .902 save percentage.

NHL fans are lighting up X/Twitter in anticipation of the Eastern Conference Final clash, as one fan commented:

"This is a hell of a series. Definitely will be a war. If the Rangers win they need to play physical. Florida won’t go easy on them. I think the Rangers will get it done, hopefully they actually beat a Florida team in the 3rd round this time."

Another fan also supported this and said:

"This series is going to be awesome!"

The anticipation for the intense series is high, as more fans are giving their opinions on X:

"Rangers sweep for sure," one fan said.
"Rangers will have a hard work...Bobrovsky became a wall. I believe Rangers will win but it won't be easy," another fan chimed in.
"Panthers in 5 !" one fan reacted.
"Rangers Will Win," another fan commented.

While many fans are taking sides, some are neutral, preferring to watch the games unfold:

"Flip a coin. This will be a tight series," one fan said.
"It will go 7 coin flip series," another fan said.

During the regular season, the Panthers were 2-0-1 against the Rangers. Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck lead the Rangers in playoff points with 14 each, supported by Artemi Panarin’s 11 points. Igor Shesterkin has been stellar in net with an 8-2-0 record, a 2.40 goals-against average, and a .923 save percentage.

This series will be a rematch of their only previous playoff encounter, the 1997 Eastern Conference quarterfinals, won by New York in five games. The New York Rangers last reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 2014, losing to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.

Players and coaches share excitement for New York Rangers vs. Florida Panthers clash

Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk is thrilled about playing at Madison Square Garden. According to NHL.com:

"It's playoff hockey in New York. It's a dream," Tkachuk said on Friday. "MSG, on the road is my favorite rink to play in just because of the history and everything that has to do with the city of New York. It's a great city."

Aleksander Barkov is also looking forward to the challenge:

"I haven't really thought about that yet, but it's going to be another fun series, another hard series," Barkov said Friday. "Right now, we want to enjoy this one for a little bit and then get back at it tomorrow."

New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad said on Thursday:

"Any series is going to be tough and we're trying to take it a game at a time. Right now, just get some rest and we'll start preparing."

Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said on Thursday:

“It’s exciting, and I think everybody is fired up about that. When they tell us it’s time to go, we’ll be ready to go.”

Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky added:

"It's a really good team, a really good, balanced team. It's going to be a fun challenge."

Who do you think will come out on top between the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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