By Adrian Dater | | 4 mins
New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning Odds, Picks & Betting Predictions
One team wasn’t supposed to make the playoffs, much less get this far. The other team was supposed to have had too big of a Stanley Cup hangover to get this far again. But here the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning are, in the NHL Eastern Conference finals.
The Rangers became the first team in league history to win multiple series when down two games at one point when they knocked off the Carolina Hurricanes on the road Monday night. The Lightning has been waiting around for more than a week to play its next opponent, after sweeping the Florida Panthers.
It should be a fun series, with two of the best goalies in the league facing each other. Can the underdog Rangers do it again, against the two-time defending Cup champs?
Let’s dig into the series more, from an NHL betting perspective, and make a pick:
Rangers vs Lightning Odds
Rangers vs Lightning Betting Tips
Take the Under
Bettors should definitely take the Under at betting sites more often than not in this series. Andre Vasilevskiy remains the best goalie in the game, while Igor Shesterkin is likely to win the Vezina Trophy this year.
Consider Zibanejad, Kreider & Stamkos Goal Props
Mika Zibanejad is coming off a great series against the Hurricanes, and while it’ll be harder to score on the Lightning probably, I think he’ll score a few more this series. Same with Chris Kreider for the Rangers.
Bolts veteran Steven Stamkos had a 106-point regular season, turning back the clock some, and has four goals in 11 postseason games so far. Don’t overlook him on goal props on your favorite sports betting app.
Over on Assists for Hedman
Victor Hedman has eight assists in 11 games so far for Tampa Bay. I think that will continue, so look for prop bets here on the helpers.
Over on Saves for Shesterkin
The Lightning has a better puck-possession game than the Rangers, so look for Shesterkin to have to make more saves than Vasilevskiy.
Other Dark Horse Bets to Consider
Over on assists for Adam Fox and at least one game where Vasilevskiy pitches a shutout. And, the same for Shesterkin.
Rangers vs Lightning Predictions
I learned my lesson in doubting the Lightning. I thought Florida would be able to dethrone them, and instead, it was a sweep. Tampa Bay just has so much confidence - an arrogance, almost - but you can’t blame them. All the Bolts do is win in the playoffs.
The only realistic way the Rangers can win is if Shesterkin stands on his head - and he’s certainly capable. The Rangers need more from Artemi Panarin in this series than they got in the last one, though the Bread Man did get better as the series went along.
Tampa Bay just has too many big horses for the Rangers to handle, though. The core of the team is just so strong and so experienced in knowing how to win. Vasilevskiy seems to always get better as the postseason moves on.
The Rangers have overachieved getting this far, and they have a lot of talent. But not enough to beat the Lightning in a seven-game series.