NHL Hockey Betting: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers

Added May 18, 2015 by Levi Watkins

The New York Rangers will try to go up 2-0 in their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. The ‘Broadway Blueshirts’ are looking for a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second consecutive year. The winner of the Eastern Conference will take on the winner of the West–the Chicago Blackhawks or Anaheim Ducks. Tampa Bay is hoping to even the series with a win tonight and head to Florida for Game Three tied 1-1. The Bolts had the best regular season home record in the NHL this year so this is an extremely pivotal game.

There’s a perception in the media that the Rangers are easily the ‘class’ of the four remaining playoff teams. We’re not so sure. No disrespect to the Rangers who are a very good team with an exceptional goalie in Henrik Lundqvist but it’s not like they’ve been running roughshod over their opponents during the playoffs. New York has played fifteen straight playoff games decided by a single goal–a NHL record. That includes thirteen games this season. On one hand, their performance in these tight games has them in the Eastern Conference Finals. On the other hand, it’s made things more difficult than it “should” be for a team of their pedigree.

As far as the Rangers’ superiority over the Lightning that’s also a tough sell. Tampa Bay swept the season series against the Rangers this year and is not lacking in confidence. Steven Stamkos needs to up his productivity but the Lightning’s attack is still outplaying the Rangers’ during the playoffs. Rick Nash has been a non-factor and the Rangers are averaging a paltry 2.00 goals per game. They’ve been able to get away with it due to the stellar play of Lundqvist but there are few teams that have won the Stanley Cup based on a solid goaltending performance alone.

At any rate, the pricing on this game is all wrong. It’s a coin flip as has been every Rangers’ game during this playoff run. We’ll take the price on Tampa Bay and settle in for a long and tightly contested series.


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