Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1.5
|New York Rangers||+1.5
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The New York Rangers will look to take a 3-2 lead in this Eastern Conference Series with a win at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won Games One and Two at home 6-2 and 3-2 behind Igor Shesterkin’s 37 Game One saves and Adam Fox’s two Game Two assists. In Games Three and Four, the Lightning struck back in their barn by winning 3-2 in Game Three and 4-1 in Game Four. Ondrej Palat was the Game Three hero when he scored the game-winning goal with 42 seconds left, and Andrei Vasilevskiy was the Game Four hero when he saved 34 of 35 shots.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the best team of the last five years. They have made the Playoffs every time, won two consecutive Stanley Cups, and lost one Conference Finals. They are not the most impressive team on paper, but their veteran presence’s impact cannot be underestimated.
The Lightning have seen impressive Playoff efficiency from Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Ondrej Palat. All four of these players are veterans and leading the Lightning in this Playoff run. Kucherov has 14 assists and 21 points in 15 games and has been a nightmare for opposing teams. Steven Stamkos has seven goals and six assists in over 18 minutes a game. Victor Hedman has only scored two goals in the Playoffs but has 11 assists and is playing almost 25 minutes a game. Last but not least, we have Ondrej Palat. Palat has 13 points and leads the Lightning with a +/- of seven.
Andrei Vasilevksiy has been magnificent in the last two games. He has saved 62 of 65 shots and held the Rangers to only three goals. Vasilevskiy must continue to bring his A-game as the Lightning face the Rangers on the road.
The New York Rangers surprisingly are in the Eastern Conference Finals and have a chance of winning the Stanley Cup. However, they may need to win every game at home to make the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Ranger’s top Playoff performers have been Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox. Zibanejad is playing over 20 minutes a game and has ten goals and 14 assists, while Fox is playing over 26 minutes a game and has 18 assists. Zibanejad and Fox need to have huge games if they want to take the series lead.
Igor Shesterkin struggled in net for the Rangers in Game Three. He saw 30 shots and only saved 27 of them. He should see fewer shots in this game but still has to play better.
The Rangers are the underdogs but are playing at home. They have only lost one home game in the Playoffs, so they should have no problem winning this home battle.
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Head-to-Head||New York Rangers|
|Jon Cooper||Head Coach||Gerald Gallant|
|51-23-8 (3rd in Atlantic Division)||Standing||52-24-6 (2nd in Metropolitan Division)|
|Nikita Kucherov (21)||Points||Mika Zibanejad (24)|
|Nikita Kucherov (7)||Goals||Mika Zibanejad (10)|
|Nikita Kucherov (14)||Assists||Adam Fox (18)|
|Ondrej Palat (7)||+/-||Ryan Lindgren (8)|
|Nikita Kucherov (3.67)||Shots (Per Game)||Mika Zibanejad (3.33)|
The Tampa Bay Lightning have won two in a row and are the favorites, but they will only win if they avoid committing penalties and score the first goal.
The Lightning are facing a Rangers team that is converting almost ⅓ of their power-play attempts. The Rangers will score if Tampa Bay gives them enough opportunities, so the Lightning must not give them those opportunities.
Tampa Bay has a lot of momentum from their last two wins. They need to push that momentum by scoring the first goal. If they do, they will swing the game in their favor and discourage the Rangers.
The New York Rangers are the underdogs but can win if they slow down Ondrej Palat and win the shooting battle.
Ondrej Palat has two goals and two assists over the last two games. He has played well in the Playoffs but even better in the previous two games. The Rangers cannot let him have another good game. If they slow him down, they will slow down the entire Lightning offense.
The Rangers have to hope that Andrei Vasilevskiy has a bad game. They can only do that by taking a lot of shots and hoping he makes mistakes.
This was not a hard choice. Ondrej Palat has been a star in the last two games. The Czech winger scored the game-winning goal in Game Three and an empty-net goal in Game Four.
The Rangers have to stop Palat. He is hungry to score and will do so if given the chance.
Igor Shesterkin has an opportunity to redeem himself in Game Five. He is playing at home, so he will probably have an easier time. Still, if he does not play well, he may become the Rangers scapegoat this season.
Shesterkin has shown that he can be one of the best goalies and has to do so in this game.
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|Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Rangers Information|
|What||Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Rangers|
|Where||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York|
|When||Thursday, June 9, 8:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN|
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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