Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers Game 5 Eastern Conference Finals
The first four games of this series have featured the home team winning. The series is tied at 2-2, with a pivotal Game 5 set for Thursday night, June 9, at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The winner of Game 5 in a 2-2 series tie has won a series 78% of the time.
This could potentially go a long way in deciding who goes to the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Finals. The winner of this series will face the Western Conference Champions, the Colorado Avalanche.
Tampa Bay is favored at -1.5.
Tampa Bay Lightning Looking to Steal Game 5 On the Road
The Tampa Bay Lightning have yet to win a road game this series, but they have won four road games this postseason. Tampa Bay did it twice in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs and did it twice in the second round against the Florida Panthers.
They are 10-0 this postseason when Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov score a goal in the same game. Stamkos and Kucherov each have seven goals this postseason and are always a very good bet to score a goal in the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Victor Hedman did not record a single point in Game 4 for the Lightning. He has been held with a point in the last three-out-of-five postseason games. Hedman is one of the best defensemen in the NHL.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves in Game 4 for Tampa Bay and is projected to be the starting goalie in Game 5.
New York Rangers Looking to Protect Home Ice
The New York Rangers have only lost one game on home ice all postseason long, and that was back in Game 1 of the first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins that went to triple overtime. New York will need to defend home ice in order to avoid elimination once again.
The Rangers will need their star power back for this Game 5. Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox were held off the score sheet. Artemi Panarin scored the lone power-play goal for them in Game 4. Panarin has six goals this season. He has recorded at least one point in the last four-out-of-five games.
Chris Kreider recorded an assist in Game 4. He has scored at least one point in the last six games for this hockey team. Kreider will need to be large in Game 5.
Igor Shesterkin recorded 27 saves in Game 4 in a losing effort for the New York Rangers and is projected to be the starting goalie in Game 5.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers Pick and Prediction
During the regular season, Tampa Bay’s record against the spread on the road was 20-21, and New York’s record against the spread at home was 18-23.
The over/under goals total for this hockey game will be five total goals. For the last three games of this series, it has been exactly five goals all three times. It is very possible it happens for the fourth consecutive game. The Lightning love to make things ugly on the road, and the Rangers love to score at home, so something has to give.
This could be a very wild, entertaining hockey game from start to finish with a change of venues. It feels possible that the Rangers are finally due to losing a home game, but Madison Square Garden has been a different kind of home-ice advantage this postseason than any other year.
Taking New York +1.5 over Tampa Bay is the play to go here, and also over five total goals scored for Game 5 in the Eastern Conference Finals.