The Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers are set for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
After going seven with the Tronto Maple Leafs, the two-time defending champion Lightning made quick work of the Florida Panthers to land themselves a spot in the Conference Finals. Since beating the Panthers in four games, Tampa has been waiting eight days to start this series.
The New York Rangers played two seven-game series to make it here to the Conference Finals. After trailing three games to one to the Pittsburgh Penguins, they won three straight to take that first-round series. Currently, they are coming off a seven-game series against the Carolina Hurricanes. They did the impossible and beat Carolina at home to take Game 7.
Now the Rangers face their most brutal battle yet. They need to win four games against a team that is thirsty for their third straight Stanley Cup.
"A user has placed $175,000 on the Tampa Bay Lightning..." - @ DraftKings Sportsbook
Entering Game 1, everyone is having the odl rust versus rest debate. Will Tampa be rested and ready to go, or after eight days of no games, will they need a game to find their stride.
While every player will take the rest, statistics point to rust. Teams coming off a seven-game series typically do better than the team coming off a sweep.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers Match Details
Fixture: Tampa Bay Lightning @ New York Rangers
Time & Date: Wednesday, June 1, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers Betting Odds
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers Best Picks
It's always difficult to make picks in Game 1, but the one thing bettors can be confident in is Mika Zibanejad. He leads his Rangers with 19 points, and he's scored a goal in six of his last nine. Playing at home, he should net one tonight.
Mika Zibanejad To Score a Goal (+210)
"2022 NHL Playoff Scoring Leaders..." - @ Eric Friesen
Corey Perry has been an underrated asset for the Lightning in the playoffs. "Scorey" Perry has netted five goals in the playoffs, and while nothing is guaranteed, the payout is worth the risk.
Corey Perry to Score a Goal (+300)
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers Prediction
It always creates an interesting dynamic when the underdog in a series has a home-ice advantage. No matter who wins this first game, some severe conclusions will be made. If Tampa wins, everyone will be talking sweep, and if the Rangers win, everyone will say they're disrespected and will win this series.
Regardless of all that and who wins tonight, Tampa Bay will take this series in six games.
Tonight's game is a coin flip, and a strong argument can be made for either team. The only smart play is the under. For those inclined, I'd recommend the positive money in this matchup.
Rangers (+108) & Under 5.5 (-128)
Q. Who will win this series?
Tampa Bay Lightening
New York Rangers
41 votes so far