- BetOnline has point spreads, money lines and totals for the Eastern Conference Final between the Rangers and Lightning
- The winner of the best-of-seven-series will play the Colorado Avalanche for the Stanley Cup
- Game 5 will take place at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, June 9, 2022
Just when you thought their three-peat bid was all but over, Tampa Bay rallied to Game 3 and 4 victories at home to even their best-of-seven matchup with New York. Will the two-time defending champions take a stranglehold on the series on Thursday night, or will the Rangers win their ninth-straight playoff game at Madison Square Garden?
Eastern Conference Finals – Game 5
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1½ (+205)||-123||Ov 5.5 (+130)|
|New York Rangers||+1½ (-245)||+111||Un 5.5 (-143)|
Rangers vs Lightning
Just six victories away from becoming the first team in almost 40 years to capture three straight Stanley Cups, Tampa Bay is a slight -123 favorite in Game 5. New York is 8-1 at the Garden this postseason, but the Bolts’ big guns have come alive to seize momentum. After falling behind 2-0 in Game 3, the Lightning scored six consecutive goals to even the series at two games a piece.
Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov have combined for four goals and three assists in the two wins. But the Anthony Cirelli, Brandon Hagel and Alex Killorn line also deserves credit. They kept Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Frank Vatrano off the scoreboard at 5-on-5 in Tampa Bay after the trio notched four even-strength goals in the Rangers wins.
Nikita Kucherov's goal was his 50th point at home over the last 3 postseasons.
He's 1 of 3 players over the last 35 years to reach 50 such points in a 3-year span, along with Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky. pic.twitter.com/cXtfotrbFT
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 8, 2022
Vasilevsky vs Shesterkin
Andrei Vasilevskiy was serenaded with “Igor’s better” chants throughout Games 1 and 2 in MSG where he posted a .826 save percentage with a 4.80 goals-against average at 5-on-5. However, last year’s Conn Smythe winner flipped the script on home ice, posting a .953 save percentage in the two wins while not allowing an even-strength goal.
Igor Shesterkin has been borderline unbeatable in Manhattan this postseason, going 8-1 with a 2.04 GAA and .948 SV%. If the Rangers hope to hold serve on home ice, he’ll likely have to be even better.
Brayden Point has not been officially ruled out for Thursday night’s contest. The All-Star center led the NHL in goals the past two postseasons, but hasn’t played since Game 7 of the opening round against Toronto after sustaining a lower body injury.
The Rangers, meanwhile, don’t have a lot of healthy bodies at center ice. Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil could miss Game 5 and Barclay Goodrow has looked a step slower since blocking a shot with his foot in Game 3.
— New York Post (@nypost) June 8, 2022
Game 5 prediction
The Blueshirts have been a much better team on home ice, averaging 4.22 goals per game and giving up 2.22 goals per game, compared to 2.44 goals for and 3.67 goals against on the road. They’ve also only lost one playoff game at MSG and that was a triple-overtime loss to the Penguins in Game 1 of their first-round matchup.
However, Tampa Bay is a savvy veteran club that saves its best for the biggest moments. With the Rangers on the ropes, expect the Lightning to raise their road game to another level on Thursday night.
Final score prediction: Lightning 3, Rangers 2 OT
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