After taking a 2-0 series lead, the New York Rangers have dropped three straight and are now facing elimination. The Tampa Bay Lightning took a commanding lead thanks to a late-period goal in Game 5. They now have a chance to stamp their place in the Stanley Cup Final for a third consecutive year. This is where you’ll find everything, including team win odds, the over/under, and point spreads.
Ross Colton – Player Points (Over 0.5, +155)
In the absence of Brayden Point, players like Ross Colton are the ones who take the opportunity and roll with it. He’s gone without a point thus far against the Rangers, but he’s due for some production. Colton recorded five points in seven games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and added three more in four games against the Florida Panthers. Even when he’s not scoring, he’s effective at puck management and possession and can be a real pain to play against.
We expect him to break out of his current funk and start producing some points. Colton scored the game-winning goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final last year against the Montreal Canadiens. He’s battle-tested, a proven winner, and knows when to step up his game. When the going gets tough, Colton becomes a player that strives while handling any pressure thrown his way.
Chris Kreider – Anytime Goal Scorer (+230)
If the Rangers want to have any chance of forcing a Game 7 and making a Stanley Cup Final appearance for the first time since 2014, they need Chris Kreider to elevate his game. The 52-goal scorer has two goals and five points thus far, but an elite Kreider scoring goals and playing tough on the puck places New York in a good position to turn the tables. He’s been an effective player this year, especially in key moments, and tonight is a perfect opportunity to do so again.
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In games where the Rangers faced elimination, Kreider scored five goals. He’s the perfect example of a momentum-shifting player, someone the city of New York will rally behind as the team attempts to come back once more. Nobody expected him to hit 50 goals, nor did anyone expect the Rangers to be in an Eastern Conference Final. The team has surprised the hockey world a couple of times, and it can happen one more time tonight.
Igor Shesterkin – Player Saves (Over 32.5, -115)
Paired with good defending and some clutch goal-scoring from some of their top lines, the Rangers still wouldn’t be where they are without the heroics of Igor Shesterkin. Time and time again, he’s stood tall and stopped an excess amount of shots, keeping his team alive. It’s not just the quantity of shots he’s faced but the quality, especially in high-danger areas. Shesterkin has made it next to impossible to be beaten during goal-mouth scrambles, something the Lightning excel in.
The opportunity is here tonight for Shesterkin to face over 32 shots, given the Rangers will need to bring the offense to the Lightning early. In playing aggressively to produce some offense, the Rangers place themselves at risk of giving up odd-man rushes and shots on goal. They’ll feel comfortable knowing they can indulge in back-and-forth hockey, knowing Shesterkin can handle the workload. Take the over and expect a big-time performance from one of the league’s best goaltenders of the year.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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