The New York Rangers open their 2022-2023 NHL campaign by hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Tuesday. The game is a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals that the Lightning won in six games. ESPN will have the broadcast with the puck scheduled to drop a little after 7:30 p.m. ET
Lightning vs. Rangers picks
The Lightning enter the season with some new faces and will need some time to get chemistry going. They are also without second-line center Anthony Cirelli and defenseman Zach Bogosian, both of whom will miss several weeks recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The Rangers are a deep group at the forward position and the addition of Vincent Trocheck gives them another 20-goal, 50-point player at center. Expect the blueshirts to attack the Lightning defenseman that will have new pairings across the board.
Both goaltenders (Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin) are former Vezina Trophy winners and are 1-2 on nealry everyone’s list of best goalies in the world. Shesterkin definitely raises his game with Vasilevskiy on the other side. Vasilevskiy, also a former Conn Smythe winner, is still getting a good gauge on his defense and it will take some games for him to get them where they need to be. I expect a very competitive matchup in goal with the Rangers getting a late empty-net to make the final 4-2.