The Underdog Rangers Eliminate Carolina, Still Longshots Against Lightning


New York Rangers Vs Carolina Hurricanes NHL Background

  • New York Picks Up Series’ Only Road Win in 6-2 Grounding of Carolina
  • Rangers Once Again Are Underdogs with Matchup vs. Tampa Bay in Eastern Conference Finals
  • Goalies’ Verdicts were Keys in Game 7 Story

Rangers’ Move to NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals

Once again, the New York Rangers were underdogs as Carolina (-160) was undefeated at home in the NHL playoffs.

This time, though:
The norm didn’t happen as Adam Fox and Chris Kreider connected on a pair of power-play goals in the first eight minutes of the contest. The quick start gave New York a 2-0 lead at just the 12:00 mark of the first period and it stated the Rangers’ case to continue their plight into a date with the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning with Game 1 on Wednesday evening. Kreider’s second goal came at 3:59 in the third period as he and New York benefitted from the three assists by Mike Zibanejad.

New York led 4-0 at that point and was in the position to move on.

Rangers Sweep Season Series With Lightning

The New York Rangers handled Tampa Bay with a 3-0 advantage in sweeping the Bolts during the regular season.

Tampa Bay settled with back-to-back losses at 4-3 in a shoot-out on Dec. 31 and Jan. 2 as a hat trick by Zibanejad gave New York a 4-0 win in the second game of that back-to-back at Madison Square Garden.

Zibanejad then scored with 16 seconds left in the third period on Mar. 19 as the Rangers took a 2-1 win over the Lightning in the second game of the season in Tampa.

Lightning Continues as Favorites with Venture to MSG For Games 1 and 2

Tampa Bay is favored in the Eastern Conference Finals with a (-190) clip while New York is sitting at (+160). The Colorado Avalanche (+120) is the Stanley Cup favorite over the Lightning (+210). Edmonton is set at (+550) as the Rangers are the longest shot at (+600).

Tampa Bay (-130) is favored despite the atrocity vs. the Rangers in the regular season.

The Rangers are slated for (+105) in Game 1 as they are on a roll after winning Games 6 and 7 vs. Carolina to appear in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2015.

Tampa Bay (-1.5) picks up as the favorite in Game 1, but the Lightning’s number is sitting at (+200) while the Rangers are slated for and a (-250) as the puck line states.

Please Note:
The total number of goals is placed at OVER 5.5 and (-110) for Tampa Bay and UNDER 5.5 (+110) in New York’s corner.

The Lightning were favored by the sportsbooks in all three games vs. New York during the regular season as they were posted with (-115) and (-105) on Dec. 31 and Jan. 2 and (-210) on Mar. 19.

Goalies’ Statuses were Purposeful in Rangers’ Game 7 Victory over Carolina

The Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin showed his moxy once again on Monday evening as his 94.9 percent save percentage duplicated itself from Saturday evening’s series timing win.

He had two major saves in goal that sprung New York’s Tyler Mott for a 1-0 Rangers lead which was just some 3:40 into the first period. Carolina outshot New York, 39-31, and then controlled the Rangers, 48-24, on the face-off. The Hurricanes played without backup goalie Antti Raanta from 4:23 in the second period until the rest of the game. He suffered an injury to his right leg when he made a split to stop Zibanejad.

Rookie Pyot Kochetkov came on once again, but he gave up three goals in over 35 minutes of ice time.

Please Note:
Raanta came into the playoffs as the Carolina backup as starter Frederik Andersen has continued to suffer with a lower-body injury that took him out of a game against the Colorado Avalanche on April 16.

Raanta was 15-5-4 in the regular season and 6-5-0 in the NHL Playoffs.

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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