The Rangers dominated Game 1 and will look to duplicate their winning effort over the Lightning on Friday night when these Eastern Conference foes face off again. Let’s analyze this matchup and keep cashing our NHL picks!
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers
Friday, June 03, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Madison Square Garden
Lightning vs. Rangers Game 1 Recap
Chris Kreider scored just over a minute into Game 1, setting the pace for what would be a high-flying offensive effort by the home team. But a 6-2 Rangers blowout was far from apparent in the early going as Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos evened things up six minutes later.
Frank Vatrano would push the Blueshirts ahead to a 2-1 advantage before the Lightning’s Ondrej Palat would draw his team even just 42 seconds later. But after that, it was all New York as they scored the next four goals with Filip Chytil netting a pair followed by Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad (power play).
Speaking of Chytil, the Rangers’ first-round pick in 2017 tallied only eight goals in the regular season but has caught fire in the playoffs with seven goals and one assist over 15 postseason games.
Game 1: Rangers’ Victory Highlights
Entering this Eastern Conference Finals matchup, the Lightning had over a week off after sweeping the President’s Trophy-winning Florida Panthers out of the playoffs, while the Rangers had escaped two consecutive seven-game series with the Penguins followed by the Hurricanes.
Thus, the question was whether the Lightning would be well-rested entering this Game 1 matchup, or would they be rusty after the long layoff? That question was answered midway through the second period when the Rangers took control and cruised to a four-goal victory.
“There was a lot of sharpness,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Obviously, (the Lightning) were a little bit rusty tonight, they weren't the same after nine days off. ... Our game's good, we're playing well, we're doing the right things now. We just got to continue to do that."
Lightning vs. Rangers Betting Trends
- N.Y. Rangers are 7-0 SU in their last 7 games at home.
- The Rangers are 2-6 in their last 8 games as an underdog.
- The Lightning are 6-1 in their last 7 overall.
- The Lightning are 6-1 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record.
- The under is 5-1 in the Lightning’s last 6 overall.
- The under is 5-2 in the Rangers’ last 7 Friday games.
- The under is 7-3 in the Rangers’ last 10 games as an underdog.
- The under is 4-1 in the Lightning’s last 5 games against an Eastern Conference opponent.
Lightning vs. Rangers Game 2 Odds Breakdown
The early line is out and the NHL odds at all of the best online sportsbooks and betting sites are dealing the visitors as ranging between -121 and -128 road favorites.
The last game clearly saw the Lightning unravel as the Rangers dictated the tempo and transitioned seamlessly between their defensive end to the attack zone.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment, if you were backing the Bolts in Game 1, was the lackluster performance of one of the best in the business, Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Igor Shesterkin Game 1 Analysis
What’s more, the partisan crowd let him know it when they began to chant, “I-gor's bet-ter! I-gor's bet-ter!”
And Igor Shesterkin was undeniably better as the Vezina Trophy favorite turned aside 37 of 39 shots while Vasilevskiy allowed six goals on 34 shots.
But to discount a formidable rebound by the Lightning netminder could prove fatal to your bankroll as the 27-year-old Russian sensation rarely plays poorly, and a repeat performance is highly unlikely.
The Rangers have three advantages heading into this one four if you count their 1-0 lead in the series:
- The first of which is their steel curtain between the pipes, Igor Shesterkin. He made several outstanding saves in Wednesday night’s game and he will be a huge stumbling block for the Lightning.
- The Lightning have been pure money on the power play recently. They have netted eight power-play goals over their last six games including Mika Zibanejad’s third-period goal in Game 1.
- The Lightning ranked 11th on the penalty kill during the regular season but they will have to either stay clear of the sin-bin or be much more vigilant on the kill.
- Madison Square Garden is a daunting place for a visiting team to play and it has never been more evident than in the postseason where they are 7-1 on home ice.
Lightning vs. Rangers Game 2 Betting Pick
I am not going to believe the Lightning will go quietly on Game 2. They got a sobering dose of reality and don’t think for a moment that those chants didn’t fire up Vasilevskiy.
The Rangers are now a perfect 4-0 against the Lightning this season but I am going against the grain and can’t help but notice I am not alone as Tampa Bay is still being installed as the oddsmakers’ choice in this one.
*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.