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Rangers a long shot to win Eastern Conference after Game 1 loss to Panthers



The Rangers’ Stanley Cup hopes took a major blow after their Game 1 loss to the Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night.

After opening the series as underdogs, the Blueshirts are entering long-shot territory ahead of Game 2, dropping to +245 to win the series at FanDuel Sportsbook. 

The Rangers were already facing an uphill battle before Game 1, coming in at +130 to win the conference. 

“We, as oddsmakers, make odds based on facts and stats, not on hope,” DraftKings Director of Trading Johnny Avello told The Post before the series opener. “That doesn’t mean the Rangers can’t win The Cup, but when we look at the two teams, the Panthers are the better team on paper, slightly.”

The Panthers are now favored to make this a short series, with FanDuel pegging them at -164 to win it in six or fewer games. 

Carter Verhaeghe celebrates with teammates after scoring a a third-period goal on Igor Shesterkin in the Rangers’ Game 1 loss to the Panthers. NHLI via Getty Images

Of the remaining four teams, the Rangers now easily have the worst odds (+600) to win the Stanley Cup heading into Thursday’s Game 1 between the Oilers and Stars. 

Avello said this week the Rangers likely would be at least +100 underdogs once again in the Stanley Cup Final against Dallas or Edmonton.

The Rangers jumped out to 3-0 starts in each of the first two rounds and now find themselves in an unfamiliar situation, having to fight back in a series. 

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They faced little resistance through seven playoff games, winning every game until a Game 4 loss to the Hurricanes. 

But they’ve looked like a different team since then, going 1-3 and giving up at least three goals in all four contests.

The Rangers were the betting public’s favorite team at one point this spring, attracting more money to win the title than any other playoff team at ESPN Bet in late April.

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