We are still waiting on a home team to lose in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals but at least we are guaranteed a minimum of six games. The Tampa Bay Lightning visit the New York Rangers in Game 5 on Thursday.
BMR’s Betting Pulse
• After winning two straight, Tampa Bay is now the favorite (-170) in this series with the Rangers sitting at +150 underdogs.
• There are three key injuries for Game 5: Brayden Point (Lightning), Ryan Strome (Rangers) and Filip Chytil (Rangers).
• Chris Kreider (Rangers) has a six-game streak with at least one point. Kreider’s next postseason goal would be No. 35 in his career, putting him in first place of the Rangers’ all-time playoff list.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers
Thursday, June 09, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Madison Square Garden
Rangers vs. Lightning Game 4 Betting Recap
We hit a +490 four-leg parlay in Game 4, which Tampa Bay won 4-1 at home. These were the picks:
- 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)
Kucherov had a goal, his third straight game with one. Meanwhile, although Zibanejad didn’t score and was minus two (-2), he had five shots.
Rangers vs. Lightning Game 5 Betting Preview
ESPN has the telecast of Game 5 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals with the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers tied 2-2 – meaning, obviously, this will go at least until Game 6, which is Saturday.
It also means that the Western Conference champion, Colorado Avalanche, are going to have plenty of time to rest up and heal because the Stanley Cup Finals couldn’t begin before next Tuesday at the earliest.
Lightning vs. Rangers Odds Analysis
The Avalanche are -220 favorites to win the Cup at BMR’s best sportsbooks and betting sites. In the East, the Lightning are +310 and the Rangers +600.
After winning two straight, Tampa Bay is now the favorite (-170) in this series with the Rangers sitting at +150 underdogs. The favored exact result is Lightning in six at +175, meaning oddsmakers obviously favor the Bolts in Game 5. Tampa at -1.5 games on the series spread is +175.
Although the Avalanche swept the Oilers in the West, this will be the ninth straight year at least one NHL final four series will require six or seven games, tied for the longest such stretch since the conference finals were introduced in 1982.
Key Injuries For Game 5
Have to say I’m not picking a side on Game 5 yet because I'll be waiting until the last minute due to three key injuries:
- Brayden Point (Lightning)
- Ryan Strome (Rangers)
- Filip Chytil (Rangers)
Brayden Point Status
For Tampa Bay, center Brayden Point has not played since suffering a leg injury in Game 7 of Round 1 against Toronto. However, he has been practicing and there’s a realistic chance he returns – although since the Bolts know they have at least a Game 6, maybe they wait until then. He led the 2020 and 2021 postseasons in goals by any player.
“We're getting to the point where, every day, I don't know if there will be definitive outs.” Coach Jon Cooper said of Point on Wednesday. “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.", he added.
Strome and Chytil Are Questionable for New York
Two Rangers forwards are in question: Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil. Both have nine points in these playoffs. Strome was injured in Game 3 and was thought to be playing Game 4 but didn’t. Chytil was hurt in that game after a hard hit into the boards from gigantic Lightning defenseman, Victor Hedman.
In Strome’s place, Kevin Rooney drew back into the Rangers lineup for the first time since Game 5, of the second round (vs. Hurricanes). Not clear what Gerard Gallant may do if both sit Game 5. If they both play and Point doesn’t, I’d probably lean Rangers at home. If they both sit and Point does play, I’d lean Tampa.
A Look at the Total
Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was just OK the first two games at Madison Square Garden but might have been rusty, with so much time off after the Round 2 sweep vs. Florida. The Russian is rolling now, not having allowed an even-strength goal in the past two – all three Rangers goals scored in Tampa were on the power play.
Meanwhile, Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin was much better at home in the regular season with a 1.85 goals-against average and .940 save percentage with five shutouts. During these playoffs, he has a 2.04 GAA (3.42 road) and .948 SV. We are going to push the total up to 6.5 goals to be safe just as we did in Game 4.
Back To Kucherov and Zibanejad On Props
Mika Zibanejad Shots on Goal
If the top sportsbooks are going to keep giving me cheap prices on New York sniper Mika Zibanejad’s shots on goal, I’m going to keep taking it. Frankly, I’m shocked the number is still at 2.5 like it was in Game 4.
He leads the Rangers by far with 60 shots in these playoffs and is averaging 4.8 shots per game in this series. With New York having the last line change at home, that will only help him offensively.
Nikita Kucherov Total Points
Look, I’m not breaking news here but I’m going back to the same well with Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov point prop to have at least 1. It was juiced at -250 in Game 4 and is now up to -270 for Game 5.
His current goal streak of three games equals the longest one of his playoff career, matching a record set in 2016. We don’t even need a goal, as one assist should do just fine. He had two assists in Game 3 and one in Game 1. The only game in which Kucherov hasn’t scored in this series was the opener, but the entire Lightning team was flat.
Adding a Chris Kreider Prop to the Parlay
For our final NHL pick, let’s also hit the at least one point prop on New York's sniper, Chris Kreider. He had an assist in the Game 4 loss and has a six-game streak with at least one point.
Kreider’s next postseason goal would be No. 35 in his career, passing Rod Gilbert for sole possession of the first place on the Rangers’ all-time playoff list. Like Zibanejad, being at home should allow Kreider better offensive chances with the last line change.
- Rangers/Lightning Under 6.5 Goals Alternate Line (-175)
- Nikita Kucherov Over 0.5 Points (-270)
- Mika Zibanejad Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (-130)
- Chris Kreider Over 0.5 Points (-130)
NHL Pick: Four-Legged Parlay (+507) 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.