The Conference Finals in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are here. The first series slated to get going is the Eastern Conference Finals, where the Florida Panthers will take on the New York Rangers. In this article, we will preview the series and explain everything that you need to know to watch the best out of seven matchup.

Where is the Panthers vs. Rangers series?

Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, is one of the most historic sporting venues in the world, and it will serve as host for Games 1, 2, 5, and 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Rangers have the home-ice advantage in this round of the playoffs, and with a 30-11 record at home, New York is of the best teams in the league at defending their ice.

The Panthers will host Game 3, 4, and 6 at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida.

How to watch Panthers vs. Rangers

Game 1: Panthers @ Rangers on Wednesday, May 22 at 8 p.m. ET – ESPN

Game 2: Panthers @ Rangers on Friday, May 24 at 8 p.m. ET – ESPN

Game 3: Rangers @ Panthers on Sunday, May 26 at 3 p.m. ET – ABC

Game 4: Rangers @ Panthers on Tuesday, May 28 at 8 p.m. ET – ESPN

Game 5: Panthers @ Rangers on Thursday, May 30 at 8 p.m. ET – ESPN

Game 6: Rangers @ Panthers on Saturday, June 1 at 8 p.m. ET – ABC

Game 7: Panthers @ Rangers on Monday, June 3 at 8 p.m. ET – ESPN

Eastern Conference Finals storylines

Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers prior to their Eastern Conference Finals matchup
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

While the Rangers did finish the regular season with the second-best home record, they will be facing a Panthers team that was tied for the most wins on the road with 26. Their success on the road has continued into the postseason, as the team is 4-1 when playing away games in these playoffs.

Overall, Florida is 8-3 in the playoffs this year, and they do have familiarity with the Eastern Conference Finals. Last year, the Panthers swept the Carolina Hurricanes to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Florida would like to make quick work of the Conference Finals once again, but that will be easier said than done.

The Rangers had the best record in hockey during the regular season. However, they did struggle some against the Panthers. Florida was 2-0-1 against New York in the regular season.

Both teams are loaded with talent. Igor Shesterkin is arguably the top remaining goaltender in the playoffs with a 2.40 GAA and a .923 save percentage. Vincent Trocheck and Mika Zibanejad have carried the Rangers' offense, as both players have 14 postseason points. Alexis Lafreniere seemingly gets better each game, too, and he has taken his game to new heights in the postseason.

The team will be getting a boost, too, as Blake Wheeler is set to return from an injury that has held him out since February. The Rangers last made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2022, where they lost in six games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

For Florida, their postseason points leader (Matthew Tkachuk) also has 14 points. Aleksander Barkov slightly trails with 13 points. Carter Verhaeghe has six postseason goals, while Sam Reinhart has five. Sergei Bobrovsky has a save percentage of .902.

Both the Panthers and the Rangers have made deep postseason runs in recent seasons, but neither team has recently hoisted up the Stanley Cup Trophy. Winning in the Conference Finals will afford either team the opportunity to continue their postseason run and potentially do so.

The Dallas Stars will play either the Vancouver Canucks or the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals. The Rangers vs. Panthers series, in particular, is arguably the most anticipated series of the postseason so far. The teams will surely deliver some classic performances, so you won't want to miss a single game.