SPORTS CHAT PLACE
The Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers meet in game five of their best of seven Eastern Conference final series in NHL action from Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to steal home ice after evening up the series at two wins apiece following a 4-1 win over the Rangers in game four. Nikita Kucherov has a team-high 21 points with 7 goals and 14 assists while Victor Hedman also has a pair of goals and 11 assists. Ondrej Palat has 13 points with 7 goals and 6 assists while Ross Colton also has 8 points and 5 goals. Steven Stamkos also has 13 points with 7 goals and 6 assists as well this postseason. Andrei Vasilevskiy has a 10-5 record with an .925 save percentage and a 2.44 GAA this postseason.
The New York Rangers will try to hold serve at home after back-to-back road losses. Mika Zibanejad leads the Rangers with 24 points including 10 goals and 14 assists while Adam Fox also has 23 points with 5 goals and a team-high 18 assists. Andrew Copp has 13 points split between 6 goals and 7 apples while Artemi Panarin has 16 points with 6 goals and 10 assists and Chris Kreider also has 16 points with a team-high 10 goals this postseason. Igor Shesterkin’s gone 10-7 in the postseason with a 2.65 GAA and a .929 save percentage this postseason.
Tampa Bay is 8-2 in their last 10 games overall and 6-1 in their last 7 games following a win while the under is 8-1 in their last 9 games against a team with a winning record. New York is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall and 44-20 in their last 64 home games while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 games as a home underdog.
I get the case to be made for the Lightning here, having a lot of the momentum in the series after back-to-back wins. However, that’s been the theme for the Rangers so far in the playoffs, as the home team has won 15 of the 18 games the Rangers have played in the playoffs so far. The Rangers feed off of some magic at MSG, so give me the Rangers.