The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers meet for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals Thursday at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. The series is tied 2-2. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. ET (ESPN/ESPN+). Below, we look at the Lightning vs. Rangers Game 5 odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
The Lightning started out in a 2-0 series hole, falling 6-2 in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden, and then narrowly by a 3-2 count in Game 2. Tampa Bay won both games on home ice to square the series, outscoring New York by a 7-3 count.
The Rangers have registered 8 consecutive victories on home ice dating back to Game 1 of the Pittsburgh series, their very first game of the postseason. New York lost a triple-overtime thriller in that one, or it would be perfect in front of the home faithful this postseason.
Lightning at Rangers odds and lines
- Money line: Lightning -130 (bet $130 to win $100) | Rangers +105 (bet $100 to win $105)
- Against the spread (ATS): Lightning -1.5 (+185) | Rangers +1.5 (-260)
- Over/Under (O/U): 5.5 (O: +112 | U: -140)
Lightning at Rangers projected goalies
Andrei Vasilevskiy (10-5-0, 2.44 GAA, .925 SV%, 1 SO – postseason) vs. Igor Shesterkin (10-7-0, 2.65 GAA, .929 SV% – postseason)
Vasilevskiy wasn’t himself in the first game of this series, and in Game 2, for the most part. However, in 2 wins on home ice against the Rangers, the Tampa star allowed just 3 goals on 65 shots.
Shesterkin suffered a pair of losses in Games 3 and 4 in Tampa, but he has allowed 3 or fewer goals in each of his past 14 playoff starts since getting pulled early in Game 4 of the Pittsburgh series.
The RANGERS (+105) are short ‘dogs at home despite the fact they have won 8 consecutive games at home, and are a triple-overtime loss away from being a perfect 9-for-9 at MSG during this postseason. Until the Lightning (-130) prove they can win in New York, keep backing the home side.
Against the spread
The Rangers +1.5 (-260) are too expensive for my liking if you find the need for insurance. If you like New York, just play it straight up. Risking over 2 times your potential return is just silly.
The UNDER 5.5 (-140) is the play, as it has been the past 3 games. While it’s a moderate amount of chalk to eat, each of the past 3 games have seen exactly 5 total goals.
Under bettors have had to sweat it out each night, so play this one lightly. It easily could’ve flipped to an Over with a late empty-net goal or just 1 more score of any variety in any of the previous 3 outings.