NHL: Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL Hockey Betting: New York Rangers at Tampa Bay Lightning

Added May 22, 2015 by Levi Watkins

The New York Rangers had the third best team goals against average during the regular season but they sure haven’t looked like it in the past two games of their Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. After allowing 2.28 goals per game during the campaign the Rangers have been shredded for six goals each in their past two games. With their defense reeling they’ve had to play ‘run and gun’ hockey with the Tampa Bay Lightning with varying degrees of success. They were dominated 6-2 in Game Two but lost a hard fought Game Three 6-5 in overtime. The winner of this series will move on to the Stanley Cup Finals to face either the Anaheim Ducks or Chicago Blackhawks.

If you ask someone to name the best goaltender in the world there’s a good chance that the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist will be in the conversation. He gets a leg up by being the beneficiary of New York media hype–everything in New York is either ‘the best’ or ‘the worst’ in the eyes of their myopic residents–but he’s definitely in the mix along with guys like Carey Price and Pekka Rinne. That’s why the NYC sports fans have started to show some panic with a few suggesting that backup Cam Talbot get the start tonight. To be fair, the Bolts sure do seem to give ‘King Henrik’ fits–in the past seven meetings between the two teams Tampa Bay has scored 4 or more goals in five of them including three games with 6 goals and a game each with 4 and 5 goals. But you don’t ‘bench’ your franchise goalie.

The New York sports media thinks that a return to ‘normalcy’ in their view (eg: the Rangers winning) is as simple as tightening up on the defensive end and forcing the Lightning to play a defensive battle. Sort of like the way that the Montreal Canadiens played them and that didn’t work out too well. The Lightning can compete at this type of hockey but they’re also very good about ‘forcing tempo’ and especially now that Steven Stamkos is back in form. Look for them to get the victory here.

BET TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING -125 OVER NEW YORK RANGERS

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