The third-round matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers kicks off with the series starting in the Big Apple. The Lightning are well-rested after sweeping the Florida Panthers, while the Rangers are coming off their second consecutive seven-game series. Representing the Cinderella story of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, they’ll hope to knock off the two-time defending champions. This is where you’ll find everything, including team win odds, the over/under, and point spreads.
Tampa Bay Lightning (-125) vs New York Rangers (+105)
The Lightning represent the Atlantic Division as the reigning and defending Stanley Cup Champions. Icing a refreshed third line that has repeated the success of last year’s team, they look to punch their ticket to the Final for a third consecutive year. The Rangers are the Metropolitan Division representatives and, like the Lightning, took down the best team of their division in the second round.
In three meetings between the two clubs during the regular season, New York won all three. Backup goaltender Brian Elliott started in one game for the Lightning, dropping a close 4-3 decision in the shootout. The Rangers earned a shutout victory in their second meeting and edged out the Lightning in the final game by a score of 2-1. The playoffs are a different beast, and the Lightning are red-hot and had plenty of time to rest. Let’s take them for Game 1 tonight and deliver New York a third consecutive loss in the opening game of a series.
After a rough series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Andrei Vasilevskiy transformed into his usual playoff form and dominated the Florida Panthers. He holds a .932 save percentage (SV%), slightly higher than Igor Shesterkin‘s .928 SV%. He was remarkable against the Carolina Hurricanes, especially during Game 7. Both teams possess high-octane offenses and can do damage on the power play but have capable goaltending and a dependable defensive corps. The game has the potential to open up if either team gets into some penalty trouble. The first game of the regular season ended with seven goals, so let’s go with the over (O 5.5., -110) for their Game 1 matchup.
Both teams have the offense to bring it to one another early on, but the Rangers have home-ice advantage and will look to spark their home crowd early. In each of their opening games in the First and Second Rounds, the Rangers registered a goal in the opening 10 minutes. They aim to take the lead in puck possession early and strike as quickly as possible to get their arena rocking. For this reason, let’s take New York to score in the first 10 minutes in Game 1 (Yes, +185) and hope they get on the power play early.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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