NHL Playoffs Game Odds: Tampa Bay vs NY Rangers

My Bookie

Will a home team win a game in the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers? Oddsmakers don’t expect it in Game 5 on Thursday as the Rangers are home underdogs with the series tied 2-2.

How to Bet Lightning at Rangers NHL Hockey Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

The Lightning had little trouble winning Game 4 at home 4-1 on Tuesday to even this series 2-2. It was a vintage playoff performance from the Bolts, who look like they are beginning to find their stride after the long layoff following the Second Round sweep over the Florida Panthers.

“Don’t underestimate how hard it is to play in the playoffs, extreme intense games, and then take those days off,” said Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper. “You can’t replicate that coming in. We’re playing a really strong Rangers team who’ve come off a couple of big, emotional series wins.”

Pat Maroon opened the scoring just 2:38 minutes into the game. It was his third goal of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tied for his second most in playoff year (also 3 in 2017 & 2019) and trails only his seven tallies in 2015 with Anaheim. Maroon has now collected 10 points in 30 career games during the Conference Finals/Stanley Cup Semifinals. Maroon’s game-opening goal marked his second of these playoffs, tied with Steven Stamkos and Corey Perry for the team lead.

After scoring the go-ahead, game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation in Game 3, Ondrej Palat contributed a goal and two assists in Game 4. Palat has a stat line of 16-14—30 in 38 games during the Conference Finals/Semifinals – the most goals in the round among active players and the third-most points behind teammates Nikita Kucherov (11-34—45 in 38 GP) and Victor Hedman (6-25—31 in 45 GP).

Steven Stamkos tallied his third goal of the series to keep pace with Palat, Kucherov and New York’s Mika Zibanejad for the lead among all players. Kucherov extended his goal streak to three games to match the longest of his playoff career, equaling a mark set in 2016. He and Stamkos scored a goal in the same playoff game for the 12th time, with the Lightning claiming their 11th consecutive win in that scenario and moving to 11-1 overall.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 34 of 35 shots in the win. The Russian improved to 10-5 with a 2.44 GAA and .925 save percentage in 15 playoff contests this year. Vasilevskiy and the Lightning each matched franchise playoff records by extending their home win streaks to six games, equaling benchmarks set during their 2021 Stanley Cup run.

The Lightning look to overcome a 2-0 series deficit to win a best-of-seven for the second time in franchise history – the only instance to date came in the 2003 Conference Quarterfinals against the Capitals.

Forward Brayden Point (lower body) hasn’t been ruled out yet for Game 5. He has been out since Game 7 of the first round. Point has been progressing from what is believed to be a right leg injury.

“I can honestly answer this question with, ‘I don’t know,’” said Cooper on Wednesday. Now, we’re getting to the point where, every day, I don’t know if there will be definitive outs. … I’d be surprised if he plays this next game, honestly, but I’m not going to sit here and say he’s out for the series anymore.”

Why Bet on New York?

Compared to Game 3e, a contest in which the Lightning outshot the Rangers, 52-30, and held an 86-51 advantage in attempts, New York owned more possession in Game 4. But the Lightning delivered a top-notch defensive performance. They effectively limited opposition scoring chances by playing strong, structured hockey without the puck.

Artemi Panarin scored, and Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves for the Rangers. They are trying to figure out how to score another even-strength goal against Andrei Vasilevskiy as ll three goals in Games 3 and 4 came on the power play.

“It wasn’t second and third chance opportunities in the first two home games, it was moving the puck east to west across the ice, getting the puck off your stick in less than a half a second,” forward Chris Kreider said. “I don’t care who is in net, every goalie in the world struggles with a puck that goes east-west, has to battle through traffic and then is immediately released on net. They can’t get set. That’s what gives us our best chance, and I think to a guy we probably all could say we received a pass like that tonight and got it, picked our head up, tried to pick a spot as opposed to getting it off quick.”

Kreider extended his point streak to six straight games with an assist on Panarin’s goal. Kreider has four goals and four helpers during his point spree. He has accounted for 10 goals, six assists, 47 shots and 46 hits in 18 games this postseason. Defenseman Adam Fox entered Tuesday with points in each of the Rangers’ last eight games but that streak came to an end.

Rangers centers Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil will be game-time decisions for Game 5. Despite participating in an optional morning skate and then taking pregame warmups ahead of the Rangers’ eventual 4-1 loss in Game 4, Strome was a late scratch presumably due to the lower-body injury that he suffered in Game 3.

Chytil sustained an upper-body injury in the second period of Game 4 on Tuesday night after the Czech center took a hard hit into the boards from Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. The loss of two key centers would be difficult to overcome for New York.

The home team has won all four games so far in the Eastern Conference Final as the series shifts back to Madison Square Garden. This marks the most home wins by all teams in one postseason since 2015 (51). Overall, 2022 is the 13th playoff year in NHL history to feature 50-plus home wins, with the record of 59 set in 2013.

Game Trends

  • Lightning are 6-1 in their last 7 games following a win.
  • Lightning are 8-2 in their last 10 overall.
  • Lightning are 8-2 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Rangers are 22-7 in their last 29 vs. Atlantic.
  • Rangers are 9-3 in their last 12 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.

Expert Prediction

Author: Lucy Green