Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers Free Pick 05/18/15
Event: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Scheduled For: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, May 18, 2015
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA
Line: New York Rangers -140
Over/Under: 5 goals
The Rangers inability to prevail in one-goal games was what separated the them from the Kings in last year’s Stanley Cup Final, but they have certainly turned the tables this season. New York will be looking to take a 2-0 lead over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning in Monday’s Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final after eeking out a 2-1 victory in the series opener.
All of the Rangers’ 13 postseason games have been decided by one goal as they’re coming into this contest 9-4 overall, with seven of the games ending with 2-1 scores. “This is a comfortable place for us to be,” New York forward and ex-Lightning player Martin St. Louis said after his team’s NHL-record 15th consecutive one-goal playoff decision dating to last postseason. “We’ve been in tight games all year in the playoffs. We’re used to it.”
The Rangers also managed to finally get one over Tampa Bay’s netminder Ben Bishop, who had won his first eight career starts against the club, but the Lightning coach Jon Cooper was more concerned regarding his team’s overall performance. “One team played like they’d been there before and the other one played like they hadn’t,” Cooper said.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay needs to find a way get some balanced scoring after Ondrej Palat netted the lone tally in Game 1, as the “Triplets” line of Palat, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov now has scored 18 of the team’s 35 goals in the playoffs. “To be honest, I don’t think we tested Lundqvist as much as we should have, not a lot of quality shots, not a lot of shots period,” Steven Stamkos, a 43-goal scorer in the regular season and Lightning captain said after the loss. “We have to find a way to generate more.”
New York Rangers
Dominic Moore, who has played with nine different teams (including the Lightning), scored the game-winner with just 2:25 left on the clock in the third period of Game 1, as a pass from Kevin Hayes ricochet off his knee and into the net. Even though it was a bit of a fluke, Moore’s teammates insisted it was no accident that it was Moore who was in position for the decisive tally. “I’m all about preparation, and I can see him almost being like a goalie with everything he does to prepare himself to get into the right place going into every game,” the Rangers goalie King Henrik said. “I think that’s why he’s been so consistent throughout his career as well. He brings his game to a level that he’s helping the team every night.”
Trends & Conclusion
The Lightning are 8-2 in their last 10 games playing on 1 days rest but just 2-5 in their last 7 Conference Finals games. The Rangers are 5-2 in their last 7 Conference Finals games and 4-0 in their last 4 home games. The Rangers knows what it takes to navigate those close games in the playoffs. They have the routine and the quality and it would take close to a miracle for the Lightning to take a game at Madison Square Garden.