Will Lightning Strike Tonight in New York?

NHL Jun 03, 2022

Do the Rangers have the Lightning's number? Maybe. New York has now taken 5 of the 6 heads-up meetings this season and also outscored the Tampa Bay 23 to 15.

The upset-minded New York Rangers host the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night.

The Rangers dominated the opener of the best-of-seven series, defeating the Lightning 6-2 to take a 1-0 lead and seize the early momentum.

Tonight, Tampa Bay aims to rebound and even up the series before heading home for Game 3 and Game 4 on their home ice.

If New York can win again, they would take a commanding 2-0 series lead and put themselves just two wins away from reaching the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2014.

To win tonight, Tampa Bay must improve its defensive play. The Lightning defensemen were awful in Game 1, allowing six goals despite allowing only three goals against the Panthers in the entire Second Round. The outhustled Lightning allowed the Rangers to repeatedly push the puck into the offensive zone and create open shots on the net.

In addition, superstar goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy hopes to bounce back in a big way after allowing six goals on 34 shots in Game 1.

Meanwhile, the Rangers made a bold statement in their win, scoring six goals to win the game. Suddenly, the offense looks dominant, scoring 17 goals in their last three games.

The puck drops at Madison Square Garden at 8:00 pm EST.

Spreads.ca lists Tampa Bay as a 1.76 favourite, reflecting the public sentiment that the Lightning will bounce back strongly. The Rangers are certainly priced attractively at 2.10. The betting total is 5.5 goals, shaded slightly to the UNDER in a series that's expected to be low-scoring, despite the easy OVER in Game 1.

Here's a snapshot of the betting menu at Spreads.ca:

Prediction (powered by Pointspreads.ca):

We take nothing away from the New York Rangers who time and time again defy the odds and win the games needed to advance, while pulling off surprises along the way. Game 1 was just such an example.

Nevertheless, Tampa Bay has also been in this spot more than a few times during their 10-series win streak dating back to 2019.  The Lightning seem to win when they need to, understanding the gravity of each game. They've been inconsistent at times this season, but also have shown resiliency.

Tampa Bay knows that 0-2 is a deep hole in the playoffs, so bouncing back here with a win gives them the home ice advantage the remainder of the series.

We expect Tampa Bay to rise to the occasion.


Tampa Bay Lightning – 3

New York Rangers – 2