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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|New York Rangers
|Tampa Bay Lightning
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The Tampa Bay Lightning have an opportunity to put away the New York Rangers and head to the Stanley Cup Finals in this Game Six matchup. The Lightning were down 2-0 after the Rangers won Games One and Two at home. However, Tampa Bay struck back and won Games Three and Four at home before pulling out a Game Five road victory. Tampa Bay has stymied New York the last three games and will probably do so this game as well.
The New York Rangers were having an incredible Playoff run until Game Three of this series. They shocked the Carolina Hurricanes in the Second Round and beat them in seven games. They followed that up by winning the crushing the Lightning in the first two games of this series. However, it all went downhill from there. The Rangers lost the next three games and are now facing elimination on the road.
The Rangers have only scored four goals in the last three games. However, they have taken 90 shots in that time. 30 shots a game is often a sufficient amount, but that has not been the case for the Rangers. New York needs to take at least 35 shots this game and get better looks. They will be facing Andrei Vasilevskiy, one of the league’s best, and will only beat him by taking a lot of shots and smarter shots.
Igor Shesterkin has been taking a beating in net lately. The Rangers’ goaltender saw 52 shots in Game Three and 35 shots in Game Four. He has played pretty well in the last three games but his defense has been weak and allowing too many shots. He needs to have the best game of his life to keep the Rangers’ season alive.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have a knack for making deep Playoff runs. They won the last two Stanley Cups and made the Conference Finals a few seasons before that.
The Lightning have seen outstanding Playoff performances from Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat. Kucherov has 15 assists and 22 points; he is averaging almost one assist a game in the Playoffs. Palat does not have a lot of assists, but he does lead the Rangers with eight Playoff goals. Three of those goals have come in the last three games.
Unsurprisingly, Andrei Vasilevskiy has been a stud in net for the Lightning. Vasilevskiy gave up almost 2.5 goals per game during the season but has improved upon that by only allowing 2.35 goals per game in the Playoffs.
I would love to pick the Rangers to upset the Lightning and send this series to a Game Seven, but that is highly unlikely. The Lightning will win this game 3-2 and go on to the Stanley Cup Finals.
|New York Rangers
|Tampa Bay Lightning
|52-24-6 (2nd in Metropolitan Division)
|51-23-8 (3rd in Atlantic Division)
|Mika Zibanejad (24)
|Nikita Kucherov (22)
|Mika Zibanejad (10)
|Ondrej Palat (8)
|Adam Fox (18)
|Nikita Kucherov (15)
|Ryan Lindgren (9)
|Ondrej Palat (7)
|Mika Zibanejad (3.21)
|Shots (Per Game)
|Nikita Kucherov (3.63)
The New York Rangers are on the ropes but will see Game Seven if they draw penalties and slow down Ondrej Palat.
The Rangers only had two power-plays against the Lightning in Game Four. That is not enough and does not give them enough scoring opportunities. New York is converting on almost ⅓ of their power-play attempts, so they need to draw at least three penalties.
Ondrej Palat has three goals in the last three games. He has been a nightmare for the Rangers’ defensemen and always finds a way to put the puck in the back of the net. The defensemen have to strategize around Palat differently and figure out how to slow him down.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will win if they overwhelm the Rangers with shots and score the first goal.
The Lightning have won their last three games in part because of taking an absurd of shots. They have to stick to that model and take a lot of shots once more.
The Lightning are going home and will have a home crowd expecting them to eliminate the Rangers. Tampa Bay must score the first goal and the crowd will be unleashed. They need to get the crowd on their side quickly.
Adam Fox leads this Rangers defense that has allowed almost 40 shots a game over the last three games. He has to figure out how to take charge and make them better. The Rangers have the potential to slow down the Lightning, but Adam Fox needs to take charge of that effort.
Mikhail Sergachev had one goal and one assist in Game Four. The Russian defenseman has had a quiet Playoffs but took advantage of his opportunities in the last game. He needs to do the same in this game and help Tampa Bay move on to the Finals.
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|New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning Information
|New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning
|Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
|Saturday, June 1, 8:00 PM EST
|How to Watch
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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