The home team is unbeaten thus far in the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals as the New York Rangers visit the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 on Tuesday.
New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Tuesday, June 07, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Amalie Arena
Rangers vs. Lightning Betting Preview
ESPN has the telecast of Game 4 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals. The New York Rangers are leading 2-1, but the Stanley Cup winners for the past two years, the Tampa Bay Lightning, come into this game with momentum. The Rangers had the Bolts dead in the water in Game 3 and blew it, and I fully expect Tampa Bay to win the series now.
New York is a -140 favorite on the series line at the best sportsbooks and betting sites, with Tampa Bay sitting at +120. Somewhat strangely, the Lightning winning in seven is the favored exact result – strangely considering the Rangers are favored on the series line – at +300.
Meanwhile, the betting odds for the exact number of games in the series are:
- Series to End in 5 Games: (+390)
- Series to End in 6 Games: (+135)
- Series to End in 7 Games: (+120)
Rangers Are Not a Great Team On the Road
I’ll just cut to the chase and say I do expect Tampa Bay to win Tuesday. The Bolts looked like toast down 2-0 about midway through the second period of Game 3, but this team simply never gives up.
Remember, the Lightning probably should have been eliminated in Game 6 of the first round but rallied in the third period to tie Toronto and then won in overtime. They didn’t lose again in these playoffs after that until Game 1 of this series.
New York has been a bit shaky on the road this postseason with a 2-6 record. Frankly, the Lightning largely dominated Game 3 in outshooting the Rangers 51-30, but New York has been spectacular on the power play in these playoffs and added two more such goals. At 5-on-5, the Rangers haven’t been that good at all.
Star Players For the Tampa Bay Lightning
- Nikita Kucherov
- Steven Stamkos
- Andrei Vasilevskiy
The names above are the players that get all the press clippings with the Lightning, yet they always have these lesser players who come up clutch. Brayden Point in the previous two postseasons, for example. He hasn’t played in these playoffs since Game 7 vs. Toronto due to injury but is nearing a return. It just won’t be Tuesday.
Ondrej Palat had the game-winning goal at 19:18 of the third in Sunday’s 3-2 win. It was his 10th career playoff game-winner, a franchise record. Palat became the fourth player in Lightning history to score a go-ahead goal in the final minute of a postseason game and the second during these playoffs, joining Ross Colton in Game 2 of Round 2 vs. Florida.
It was Tampa Bay’s ninth multi-goal comeback win in the postseason in franchise history and just the third that concluded in regulation.
Kucherov Becoming a Playoff Legend
Kucherov got the comeback started with a goal at 10:50 of the second to cut the lead to 2-1 and also assisted on the Lightning’s two third-period goals. It was his third outing of at least three points these playoffs, became the sixth player in NHL history to record 20 career games of at least three points in the postseason.
He’s not catching Wayne Gretzky’s stupid mark of 59, but I absolutely expect at least one point from Kucherov on Tuesday. His 43 career multi-point playoff games are third among active players only behind
- Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins): 67 games
- Evgeni Malkin ((Pittsburgh Penguins): 53 games
Mike Zibanejad's Point Streak
New York’s Mika Zibanejad produced one goal and one assist in Sunday's loss. He has seven goals and six assists during an eight-game point streak. He has accounted for 10 goals and 14 helpers in these playoffs, leading the team in points.
However, just in case the Rangers are shut out by Vasilevskiy, let’s do Zibanejad’s shot total instead. He leads New York with 55 shots this postseason and is averaging 4.7 in this series.
There’s probably a good chance this total stays under the official number of 5.5 goals, but since we are doing a parlay, we will play it safe and do the alternate total of 6.5 for our final NHL pick. This way, if the Lightning are up 3-2 in the final seconds and score on a Rangers empty-net, which is very possible, then we don’t lose on 5.5 or 6.0 goals.
- Lightning ML (-170)
- Rangers/Lightning Under 6.5 Goals Alternate Line (-175)
- Nikita Kucherov Over 0.5 Points (-250)
- Mika Zibanejad Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (-145)
NHL Pick: Four-Legged Parlay (+490) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.