Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. New York Rangers (6/9/22) Betting Odds, Prediction, Line Combination, Starting Goalie

On Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning held serve at home beating the New York Rangers, 4-1 to tie the Eastern Conference Finals at two as the series shifts to Madison Square Garden.  Ondrej Palat had a goal and two assists, Jan Rutta had two assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves for the victorious Lightning.

Tampa Bay has captured the last two Stanley Cups and is currently +350 to win their third consecutive championship; the last team to do so was the New York Islanders who won four straight Stanley Cups; 1979-80 through 1982-83, winning 19 consecutive series.  The Lightning have won 10 consecutive series.  New York is currently listed at +600 to win the Stanley Cup this season.  The Rangers last championship was 1993-94 when they beat the Vancouver Canucks, their only Stanley Cup victory since 1940. 

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. New York Rangers Betting Odds

Per, NHL.com, the first four games have been won by the home team, the first time it’s happened in a conference final since the 1991 Wales Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins.

Tampa Bay is -165 to beat New York and advance to their third consecutive Stanley Cup Final.  The Lightning are 6-1 in their last seven games following a win.  Under is 5-1 in Tampa Bay’s last six playoff games as a favorite.  The Lightning are 35-16 in their last 51 playoff games as a favorite.  Under is 5-1-1 in Tampa Bay’s last seven Conference Finals games.

The Rangers are +145 to beat the Lightning and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2013-14 when they lost to the Los Angeles Kings.  New York is 5-1 in their last six games as a home underdog.  Under is 10-3-1 in the Rangers last 14 playoff games as an underdog.  New York is 17-40 in their last 57 playoff games as an underdog.  Under is 4-1 in the Rangers last five Conference Finals games.

Tampa Bay Lightning Analysis

Nikita Kucherov played in 47 regular season contests and was the club’s third leading scorer with 69 points (25 goals and 44 assists).  The 2018-19 Hart Trophy winner is Tampa Bay’s leading scorer in the playoffs with 21 points (seven goals and 14 assists); he scored a goal in the Lightning’s win over the Rangers on Tuesday.  Kucherov is +850 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP this season.   Steven Stamkos led the team in goals with 42 and points with 106 points during the regular season.  The center had 16 power play goals and an incredible 11 game winning goals in 2021-22.  The two-time Stanley Cup champion has 13 points in 15 playoff contests this year; he tallied his seventh goal of the playoffs on Tuesday.  The Lightning captain is +4000 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.  Tampa Bay is 11-1 in Stanley Cup Playoff history when Stamkos and Kucherov score, per NHL.com.  Ross Colton has played well at center throughout the playoffs for the Lightning.  He’s scored five goals in 15 postseason games and dished out three assists. 

Victor Hedman was the second leading scorer for Tampa Bay in 2021-22 with 85 points (20 goals and 65 assists).  The 2017-18 Norris Trophy winner is tied for second on the Lightning in postseason scoring with 13 points (two goals and 11 assists).  Additionally, Hedman is averaging 24:44 of ice time per contest in the playoffs.  He’s +2200 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, the 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner was 39-18-5 with a 2.49 GAA in 63 games this season.  The Lightning’s number 88 allowed nine goals on 62 shots in the two games of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Rangers; the third and fourth games he’s allowed three goals on 65 shots.  Through 15 playoff games this year, which he’s 10-5, he has a .925 save percentage (458 saves on 495 shot attempts) and a 2.44 GAA.   The 2020-21 Conn Smythe Trophy winner is +850 to repeat as Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

New York Rangers Analysis

Mika Zibanejad finished the season as the Rangers second leading scorer with 81 points (29 goals and 52 assists) and led New York in plus/minus at +30.  Zibanejad has a six-game home goal scoring streak; only three players have a longer streak in a playoff year (Guy Lafleur (MTL), eight games in 1979, Paul Coffey (EDM), seven games in 1985 and Reggie Leach (PHI), seven games in 1976), per NHL.com.  The center leads New York in postseason scoring with 24 points (10 goals and 14 assists).  The Rangers number 93 is +2200 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. 

Chris Kreider scored 52 goals this year, third in the NHL.  New York’s number 20 led the NHL in power play goals with 26.  He’s scored nine goals this postseason and has 14 points overall.  Artemi Panarin was New York’s leading scorer in the regular season with 96 points.  In the fourth game of the ECF on Tuesday, he scored a power play goal.  “The Bread Man” has eight points (three goals and five assists) in the past seven contests.  Overall, in the 2021-22 postseason he has 16 points (six goals and 10 assists).   

Adam Fox has been phenomenal this postseason for New York, but a had a tough game on Tuesday, he was -3 in 26:34 of ice time.  The 23-year-old is second on the club in playoff scoring with 23 points (five goals and 18 assists).  He’s the first Rangers blueliner with at least 10 playoff assists or more in a season since Ryan McDonagh had 13 in 2014.  The 2020-21 Norris Trophy winner is +3000 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy has playoff MVP.

Igor Shesterkin was 36-13-4 with a .935 save percentage (first in the league) and a 2.07 GAA (first in the NHL) in the 2021-22 regular season.  Through 18 playoff games this year, the New York’s goaltender has a .929 save percentage: facing 663 shot attempts and a 2.65 GAA.  Taking the loss in the fourth game of the Eastern Conference Finals, he made 27 saves.  Shesterkin is +800 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy this season.

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. New York Rangers Picks & Prediction

Tampa Bay has scored 47 goals this postseason: averaging 3.13 goals per game.  In the Eastern Conference Finals (four games), the Lighting have scored 11 goals overall; seven at home and four on the road.  Tampa Bay is 1-5 in their last six games as a road favorite as they are in Game Five.  The Rangers have scored 60 goals during the 2021-22 playoffs: averaging 3.33 goals per contest.  In the third and fourth games of the series, New York did not score an even strength goal; scoring only three goals combined after scoring nine goals in the first two contest of the series.  The Rangers are 3-8 in their last 11 games as an underdog.

The fifth game of the Eastern Conference Finals will be played in front of the Rangers passionate fanbase at Madison Square Garden which will give that extra edge to New York as they look to re-gain control of this series.  The Rangers have won seven games in a row at home and the streak will go to eight as “the underdogs” beat the Lightning 5-3 in the fifth game of the ECF.  Mika Zibanejad will continue his red-hot play as he pushes his home goal scoring streak to seven games as the teams combine to score over 5.5 goals.

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. New York Rangers Starting Goalies & Line Combination

Scott has been a sports fan since he received a New York Mets jacket as a toddler. He’s been playing fantasy baseball and football for over 20 years, dating back to Frank Thomas being one of his first fantasy baseball picks. As a professional, he has covered the NFL, MLB, NCAAF, and NCAAB and is looked to as the go-to guy for fantasy sports amongst family, friends, and co-workers.

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