The Tampa Bay Lighting convincingly won Game 4 at home Tuesday and despite the Eastern Conference Final knotted at two games apiece, the New York Rangers have lost all the momentum.
However, the home side can push the Bolts to the brink of elimination with a win tonight at Madison Square Garden where the Rags are 8-1 straight-up in the playoffs.
Can the Rangers overcome some injuries to key players or has Andrei Vasilevskiy found another gear in the series? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Lightning vs. Rangers.
Lightning vs Rangers Game 5 odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Rangers opened as high as +115 but have gained some confidence in the market and sit as +105 home dogs as of Thursday morning. New York closed as +115 moneyline underdogs in Games 1 and 2.
The total is also teetering on the precipice of 5.5 and 5 as it currently sits at -140 to the Under 5.5. Each game in this series has opened and closed at 5.5.
Lightning vs Rangers Game 5 predictions
Predictions made on 6/09/2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Lightning vs Rangers Game 5 info
• Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
• Date: Thursday, June 9, 2022
• Puck drop: 8:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Lightning vs Rangers series odds (tied 2-2)
Lightning vs Rangers Game 5 betting preview
Lightning: Brayden Point F (Questionable).
Rangers: Ryan Strome F (Questionable), Filip Chytil F (Questionable).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Lightning vs Rangers head-to-head record in the series
Lightning: 2-2 SU, 11 goals for.
Rangers: 2-2 SU, 12 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 8-1 in the Lightning’s last nine overall. Find more NHL betting trends for Lightning vs. Rangers.
Lightning vs Rangers Game 5 picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The New York Rangers had a two-goal lead in Game 3 with a chance to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. However, an Ondrej Palat goal with 42 seconds remaining in regulation gave the Bolts the 3-2 come-from-behind win and swung the series momentum heading into tonight's Game 5.
The Lightning followed up that win with a dominant performance on Tuesday where they led Game 4 for over 57 minutes. Andrei Vasilevskiy was outstanding and stopped 34 of 35 New York shots and has looked locked in after a rough series opener.
The Lightning could get some help today with Brayden Point looking more questionable than out. If he could suit up, it would give the Bolts a huge boost as Point plays in every situation and him centering the second line would balance out this Tampa Bay 5-on-5 attack that has looked bland at times without him.
Even if Point does miss his ninth straight game, the Lightning could have another advantage as the Rangers come into tonight banged up. Second-line center and power-play contributor Ryan Strome was scratched in Game 4 and is very questionable for tonight. He picked up the injury late in Game 3.
To make matters worse, third-line center and pivot for the KID line, Filip Chytil, left in the second period on Tuesday and did not return. He is questionable for tonight and his absence would also be tough for the Rangers to overcome.
The potential loss of Strome and Chytil would create a giant hole down the middle of this New York offense and missing key centermen has such a domino effect on the team. They will be worse in the face-off dot, will struggle to move the puck, and could have issues with their own defensive play through the neutral zone and in the D-zone.
The Lightning have tightened things up at even strength as well. New York has failed to score a 5-on-5 goal over two games and Vasilevskiy has stopped all 47 even-strength shots he’s seen since Game 2. The Tampa goalie is also one of the best netminders at setting up zone exits which is a very underrated skill for a backstop.
Those who guessed Vasilevskiy are correct. Leads all goaltenders in retrievals leading to exits.— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) June 8, 2022
- Shesterkin leads in overall exits but some turnovers have hurt him.
- Mike Smith is in a class of his own.
- The Avs goaltenders generally do not play the puck. pic.twitter.com/ppHuiKOXdq
Tampa Bay also made a very big adjustment in Game 4 which was to stay out of the box as the New York power play has been the best in the playoffs. The Rangers had just two power plays last time out and although they did score on one of them, holding them to just two opportunities was a huge deal for the two-time defending champs.
Igor Shesterkin could certainly steal this game with a .948 save percentage and a 2.04 goals against average through nine home playoff games, but the Bolts are healthier, have the momentum, and we’re getting them 10 points better than their closing price in Game 2 at MSG.
This has been a home-game series with the visitors losing every game so far, but we like that trend to come to an end tonight. The Lightning have won the expected goal battle in all four games.
Prediction: Lightning moneyline (-125 at PointsBet)
The Under has hit in three straight games in the series and the markets certainly look like they might take the plunge and hit 5. In each game of this series, the total has opened and closed at 5.5 but it has been heavily juiced to the Under. The books have been adamant about keeping this total at 5.5 but with it sitting at -140 to the Under as of 10 a.m. ET, there is plenty of time left for this to hit 5.
Coming into Game 1, everyone was expecting a low-scoring series and Game 1’s 6-2 final had people second-guessing themselves quickly. Like most times though, our initial reaction was correct as a series that's supported by two of the league’s best goaltenders has settled in and goals have since been hard to come by.
If not for the power play, the Rangers could possibly be down three games to one. New York has not scored an even-strength goal in over 120 minutes spanning two-plus games and Vasilevskiy has stopped all 47 even-strength shots he’s seen over the last two games.
If the Bolts can minimize the power-play opportunities for the Rangers (just two power plays for New York in Game 4), the home side should struggle to find the back of the net versus a locked-in Vasilevskiy.
Andrei Vasilevskiy is 1 playoff win away from becoming just the 17th goalie in NHL history to reach 60 for his career.— Jason Gold (@JayGold85) June 8, 2022
12 wins away from tying Jacques Plante and cracking the top 10 all time.
Offensively, the Rangers could be wounded tonight if Strome and Chytil both sit with injuries. The second- and third-line centers are major contributors and their possible absences are a huge deal for the offense. Tampa is starting to learn how to shut this New York team down and missing those key pivots would make things even easier for John Cooper’s squad.
We saw the Rangers give up a ton of shots in the first three games as Shesterkin is seeing more shots/60 than any other goalie in the playoffs. Well, the Tampa offense slowed down a bit in Game 4 and sat back in order to protect their back end. Tampa had just 15 total shots in the first two periods combined as they sat on an early lead and didn’t play aggressively with it. If the Bolts get up early again today, we could see the same strategy from the visitors tonight.
This is more of a lean than a play as we aren’t thrilled to hit and Under 5.5 at -140. If this total does hit 5, we doubt it will stay there for long before it’s bet back up. This total should close at 5.5.
Prediction: Under 5.5 (-140 at Coolbet)
Ondrej Palat is coming off a three-point game and the versatile winger has recorded a point in six of his last seven games. He’s playing on the wing with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov who have both found their scoring ways of late as well.
If Brayden Point plays, he will likely play with Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli on the second line with Brandon Hagel possibly rejoining Nick Paul and Colton Ross, but Point suiting up still feels like a longshot.
Palat has 130 playoff games under his belt and is playing with the big dogs who could be facing a New York team that could be without two of its best centers in Strome and Chytil. This could hurt the Rangers defensively and in the face-off circle, which will only help Tampa’s top line as it gets more offensive-zone shifts.
To make this even better, Palat is playing a lot on PP1 and his use in the final minute to protect the lead has helped him collect some empty-net points. Despite the Rangers winning Games 1 and 2 at home, Tampa had the better chances, had more shots and won the expected goal battle.
Pick: Ondrej Palat Over 0.5 points (-105)
Stats from Covers, Moneypuck, Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com
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