The Eastern Conference Final is down to the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers playing best-of-3. Tampa won Game 4 at home to tie the series at two games each. This matchup will return to the city that never sleeps.
Game 5 will be played at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, June 9, with puck drop scheduled for 8:00 PM ET. As the Rangers seek to maintain their home-side dominance in this series, the game will be broadcast live on ESPN. The Lightning is -136 favorites in Game 5 NHL odds. Check out the Best Bookmakers for betting on game 5.
Let’s look at this matchup, and then let’s take a look into the Lightning vs Rangers Thursday NHL odds. We will also give you our best NHL prediction and bet for the crucial Game 5.
Madison Square Garden, like their second-round series against Hurricanes, has been critical to the Rangers’ success in this series. The Blueshirts, despite having an 8-1 home playoff record against Tampa, are still underdogs at MSG.
The oddsmakers have the Rangers listed at +114 on their Moneyline.
The Rangers should be grateful to Igor Shesterkin, who kept them in Game 3 until the end. Game 4 was a completely different story. The Lightning scored less than three minutes into the game and was in complete control throughout the game, even though they were outshot for only the second time in the series.
Patrick Maroon kicked off the party, and their stars added to it with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Steven Stamkos, providing the Lightning with a safe 3-0 cushion. Ondrej Palat sealed the deal with an empty netter and two helpers.
The victory saw the Lightning move back ahead of the Rangers in the 2022 Stanley Cup odds, with the Western Conference champion Colorado Avalanche awaiting the winner.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was able to outplay his Russian counterpart on the other side of the ice for the first time in the series. Shesterkin has conceded three goals to Tampa in a pair of games. In his nine previous outings.
Although the Blueshirts initially found flaws in Vasilevskiy’s first two games, he seems to have figured and is now closing the door.
Letting the Tampa goalie get in his zone is not a good idea. He proved against Florida that he could win a game or a series by himself. He gave up nine goals in his first two contests, and only three in his two Lightning wins over the Rangers in Tampa. Check out the top new sportsbooks for betting on the Rangers/Lightning!
Another critical aspect to be aware of in Game 5 is the injury situation. Ryan Strome tried to heal his lower back injury during warmups for Game 4. He was unable to go. New York was made worse by Filip Chytil’s upper-body injury. Both are doubtful for Game 5.
This means that the Rangers are missing two key forwards. Chytil was particularly good on The Kid Line with Alexis Lafreniere & Kaapo Kakko. This is where the Czech center provided most of the goals.
Brayden Point remains a status quo on the Tampa side. Jon Cooper, the head coach, said he would be surprised if his center could return to the lineup for Thursday’s contest in Manhattan.
Prediction: Everything seems to be going in the Lightning’s favor, including the injury situation. But with that being said, I like the Rangers at home, as they play with more energy than they do on the road. The key tonight will be who scores first; I believe that will be the Rangers. Rangers 3 Lightning 2.
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