The Tampa Bay Lightning head to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night to take on the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Bolts are looking to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the third straight season by defeating a team from New York. The Rangers haven’t been to this stage in the playoffs since 2015.
All odds come courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Puck line: Lightning -1.5 (+200), Rangers +1.5 (-250)
Goal total: O 5.5 (-105), U 5.5 (-115)
Moneyline odds: Lightning -130, Rangers +105
Goal total pick: Under 5.5
The goal line is pretty low, but for good reason. This matchup pits arguably the top two goaltenders in the NHL against each other. The Rangers haven’t faced a real goalie all postseason. Andrei Vasilevskiy has had plenty of time to rest up before this series and allowed three goals in four games against Florida. Igor Shesterkin played well down the stretch to help the Rangers beat the Hurricanes. The Lightning also sport a better penalty kill in the playoffs and most of New York’s damage has come with the man-advantage. The under is the safer bet here.
Moneyline or puck line pick: Rangers +105
There’s a chance the Lightning come out a bit flat on the road in Game 1. Tampa Bay hasn’t played since May 23. This is a veteran team that isn’t a stranger to this stage. Still, the Rangers should carry more momentum after winning Game 7 vs. the ‘Canes with ease. Heading home after that high should carry over a bit into the first period at least. If that’s the case, and Shesterkin is on, I can see the Rangers “stealing” Game 1, so to speak. The Lightning are favored on the road. If there’s any game the Rangers can sneak up on the defending champs, it’s in Game 1.
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