Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Rangers NHL Pick – Game 1

The NHL is set up with another great slate of action throughout June 1. The Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers will meet up in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night. These two teams have been strong throughout the postseason and will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 8:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN.

Tampa Bay has earned a record of 8-3 throughout the postseason as the third seed in the Atlantic division. The Lightning knocked off the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in the first round. Tampa Bay then swept the Florida Panthers in the second round. The Lightning will look for a fast start as they enter this new series.

The Rangers have put up a record of 8-6 throughout the playoffs as the second seed in the Metropolitan division. New York eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes both in seven games in the first two rounds. The Rangers have not led in a series outside of a Game 7 yet this postseason. New York will look to pick up their play quickly at home in this one.

These two teams have been strong reaching this point in the playoffs and will look for a big win in Game 1 of this series. The Lightning are coming off a dominant series against the Florida Panthers and will look to use their rest to their advantage. New York will look to build on their big Game 7 win. If either team can come out fast, it could be enough for the win.

Game Overview

The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:

Teams Spread Money Line Total
Tampa Bay Lightning -1 ½ (+200) -130 Over 5 ½ (-110)
New York Rangers +1 ½ (-240) +110 Under 5 ½ (-110)


Team Data Tampa Bay Lightning New York Rangers
Playoff Record 8-3 8-6
Playoff Away/ Home Record 4-2 6-1
Playoff GF/GP 3.27 3.43
Playoff GF/GP Away/ Home 2.67 4.14
Playoff SV% .927 .923
Playoff SV% Away/ Home .922 .949

Betting Trends

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • 7-2 when playing on three or more days rest
  • 25-11 after a divisional game
  • 1-2 after shutting out their opponent
  • 20-15 after a win by two or more goals
  • 11-9 after three or more straight wins
  • 28-24 against team with a winning record

New York Rangers

  • 25-14 after a divisional game
  • 24-12 after a win by two goals or more
  • 22-15 after scoring four or more goals
  • 31-23 against team with a winning record

These two teams met up three times throughout the regular season. Barclay Goodrow had two goals in the first meeting as the Rangers earned a 4-3 win in the shootout. Mika Zibanejad had three goals, while Igor Shesterkin stopped all 38 shots he faced in the second matchup as New York won 4-0. Shesterkin finished with 28 saves on 29 shots in the third game as the Rangers won 2-1.

Special Teams

The Lightning have been strong on special teams throughout these playoffs. Tampa Bay has scored on 11 of their 39 power play chances, which is a 28.2 percent power play. The Lightning have killed off 36 of their opponents 41 power play attempts, which is an 87.8 percent kill rate. Tampa Bay is 4th on the power play and 1st on the kill in the remaining field of 4.

New York has been great on special teams as well in the postseason. The Rangers have capitalized on 13 of their 40 power play opportunities, which is a 32.5 percent success rate. New York has given up 8 power play goals on 41 penalties against, which is an 80.5 percent penalty kill. The Rangers are 2nd on the man advantage and 3rd on the penalty kill.

These two teams have been strong on both sides of special teams during these runs. Tampa Bay has been the better team on the penalty kill, but they will face off against a red hot Rangers power play. The Lightning have been dominant on the power play as well though. If either team can get a power play goal, it could be enough to give them the edge.

Goaltending Comparison

Andrei Vasilevskiy will get the start in the crease for Tampa Bay in this one. Vasilevskiy has started in all 11 games in the playoffs, going 8-3 in those matchups. He has posted a .932 save percentage and a GAA of 2.22 in those games. Vasilevskiy finished with a 49 shot shutout in Game 4 of the second round to help the Lightning move on.

Igor Shesterkin will likely get the nod between the pipes for the Rangers on Wednesday night. Shesterkin has earned a record of 8-5 throughout his 14 starts in the postseason. He has put up a save percentage of .928 and a 2.68 GAA in those starts. Shesterkin stopped 37 of 39 shots in Game 7 against the Hurricanes to earn the series win.

These two goalies have been strong throughout the playoffs and will look to remain red hot in this series. Vasilevskiy has allowed one goal or less in his last five starts. Shesterkin gave up two goals or less in six of the last seven. Both goalies will look to step up early in this one. If either goalie can come out quickly in this one, it could be enough to lift their team.

Pick Overview

These two teams have been able to dominate with great goaltending throughout these playoffs. New York is coming off two huge wins to move on, while the Lightning have won six in a row. I think the Rangers will be a bit more ready despite having less rest. If New York can get the home crowd into it early, I think they can win this one.

Bovada has the Lightning listed as a -130 against the money line in this one. This implies that Tampa Bay will win this game around 56.5 percent of the time. I think that this line should be closer to even with New York at home. The Rangers have been great at home in the playoffs and will look to keep it going. As home underdogs, I like the value on New York in Game 1.

The Bet
New York Rangers
Andruw Burling / Author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.

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