Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers Game 1 Prediction, NHL Odds

Payton Matthews | Updated May 31, 2022

The NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals begin Wednesday night from the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, as the Rangers host the Lightning.

Tampa Bay
51-23-3-5
AT
June 01, 2022, 8:00 PM ET
Madison Square Garden
NY Rangers
52-24-3-3
Puckline -1.5 +189
Moneyline -144
Over / Under o +5.5

63%

Betting Action

37%

Puckline +1.5 -227
Moneyline +120
Over / Under u +5.5

63%

Betting Action

37%

The two-time Stanley Cup champion Bolts are -130 favourites on the NHL odds for the opener. The total is set at 5.5 goals.

Lightning vs. Rangers NHL Playoffs Betting Odds

Definitely not a chalk final in the Eastern Conference as Tampa Bay finished third in the Atlantic Division in the regular season but knocked off second-place Toronto and Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida to get here. New York finished second in the Metropolitan Division and rallied from down 3-1 in the first round against third place Pittsburgh and from down 2-0 and 3-2 in the conference semifinals against Metro champion Carolina.

On the series line, Tampa Bay is a -192 favourite with New York at +142. The favoured exact result is Lightning in seven at +350 followed by in five at +374. The long shot is a Rangers sweep at +1355. That it ends in six games is the +194 leader followed by seven at +194.

New York is in its first conference final since 2015 when it lost to Tampa Bay in seven. The conference finals are old hat for the Lightning at this point. The underdog is 4-1 in the past five regular-season meetings.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning will be very well-rested but also perhaps a bit rusty as they finished off the second-round sweep of Florida on May 23. Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has to be considered among the best to ever do it, surrendered just three goals to the NHL’s highest-scoring regular-season team by far. Tampa played that series without one of its key forwards in Brayden Point, who led the previous two postseasons in goals scored. Point was injured in the first period of Game 7 of the first round against the Maple Leafs on May 14. It’s not thought that Point will be able to return Wednesday but perhaps at some point in the series. The Lightning lost all three regular-season meetings vs. the Rangers, scoring just four goals. Vasilevskiy had a 3.03 GAA and .875 SV in his two starts. The Lightning are 4-1 in their past five road games.

New York Rangers

The Rangers upset the Hurricanes in Raleigh 6-2 on Monday night to advance – it was Carolina’s first home playoff loss this year. New York became the fourth team in Stanley Cup playoff history to win multiple series in one postseason after facing a multi-game deficit in each. The Rangers are now 8-1 in their past nine Game 7s. Chris Kreider had two goals Monday, Mika Zibanejad three assists, and former Norris Trophy-winning defenceman Adam Fox a goal and an assist. Zibanejad has 11 points in games when facing elimination in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs – tied for the most in NHL history in a single postseason. Fox has 10 points in elimination games this year, an NHL record by a blueliner in a single postseason. Kreider now has 15 career goals in elimination games, one shy of the NHL record by Mark Messier. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin, the likely Vezina Trophy winner, was 3-0-0 with a 1.30 GAA and .958 SV this year vs. Tampa Bay. New York is 6-2 in its past eight as a home dog.

Game 1 Prediction: Who Will Win Lightning vs. Rangers?

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