The New York Rangers provided a real shock to the hockey world when they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1. Scoring six goals on Andrei Vasilevskiy, they made him look human for the first time since the series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Lightning will aim for the split before heading back to Tampa Bay. 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 find themselves in a similar position to Round 1 when they lost 5-0 against the Maple Leafs. They rebounded from a tough, multi-goal loss in the opening game and won the second matchup before heading back home. Steven Stamkos had one goal and one assist in Game 1, and he’ll be hungry to get his team going. Vasilevskiy was left in for all six goals against, finishing the game with a .824 save percentage.
Thanks to a 37-save performance from Igor Shesterkin, the Rangers drew first blood in the Eastern Conference Final. He was sharp on all three penalty kills, making seven saves and kept his team calm and composed. He finished with a .949 SV% for the third consecutive game, boosting his average this postseason to a .929 SV%. The Rangers will need him to continue playing to this standard, especially if they’re going to give up as many shots as they did.
This appears to be another goal-scoring series that the Lightning have found themselves in. After shutting down a Florida Panthers team that led the NHL in offensive production, they struggled to do the same against the Rangers. With three lines rolling and contributions from their blue line, New York offers them their biggest challenge to date. The goaltenders involved in this series are too good to see their nets filled up regularly, so expect Game 2 to be lighter on scoring. Let’s take the under (U 5.5, -120) and hope to see Vasilevskiy return to form.
Game 1 was very tight in the first period, as both teams recorded a goal by the first intermission. The game imploded after that, but the Lightning will strive to keep things close again and limit the Rangers’ chances. For this reason, let’s go with the prop bet of both teams scoring one goal by the end of the first period at +215. The Lightning outshot the Rangers in the opening period 12-8, and it likely won’t change heading into Game 2. They’ll need to keep a surging Artemi Panarin at bay if they hope to even up the series.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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