The NHL is set up with another great slate of Conference Final action on Friday night. The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers will meet up in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on June 3. These two teams have been strong all 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 TNT.
Tampa Bay has earned a record of 8-4 throughout the postseason as the third seed in the Atlantic division. The Lightning knocked off the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games and swept the Florida Panthers. Tampa Bay will look to bounce back after a loss early in this series. The Lightning will look for a quicker start on the road in this one.
The Rangers have put up a record of 9-6 so far in the playoffs as the second seed in the Metropolitan division. New York eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes both in seven games to reach the Conference Finals. The Rangers have their first series lead of the postseason after Game 1’s win. New York will look to build on that momentum in this one.
These two teams have been strong throughout these playoffs and will look for a big win in Game 2. The Lightning had to shake off a little rust in Game 1 of this series after a lot of rest after the second round. New York will look to keep their momentum going as they look for their fourth straight win. If either team can come out fast, it could be enough for the win.
The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1 ½ (+200)||-130||Over 5 ½ (+100)|
|New York Rangers||+1 ½ (-240)||+110||Under 5 ½ (-120)|
|Team Data||Tampa Bay Lightning||New York Rangers|
|Playoff Away/ Home Record||4-3||7-1|
|Playoff GF/GP Away/ Home||2.57||4.38|
|Playoff SV% Away/ Home||.907||.949|
Tampa Bay Lightning
- 5-4 on Friday nights
- 3-0 when trailing in Playoff series
- 18-14 after allowing four or more goals
- 12-6 after a loss by two goals or more
- 28-25 against team with a winning record
New York Rangers
- 9-6 on Friday nights
- 0-0 when leading in Playoff series
- 25-12 after a win by two or more goals
- 23-15 after scoring four goals or more
- 8-11 after three or more straight wins
These two teams met up in Game 1 of this series on June 1. Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, but it was not enough for the win. Filip Chytil had two goals, while Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Frank Vatrano all had a goal and an assist. Igor Shesterkin stopped 37 of 39 shots as the Rangers earned a 6-2 win.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 3, 2022
The Lightning have been solid on special teams throughout the playoffs. Tampa Bay has scored on 11 of their 51 power play chances, which is a 21.6 percent power play. The Lightning have killed off 37 of their opponents 43 power play attempts, which is an 86.1 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 in the postseason. The Rangers have capitalized on 14 of their 42 power play opportunities, which is a 33.3 percent success rate. New York has given up 8 power play goals on 44 penalties against, which is an 81.8 percent penalty kill. The Rangers are 2nd on the man advantage and 3rd on the penalty kill.
The Rangers have had the better power play in the postseason, while Tampa Bay has put up the better penalty kill in the playoffs. New York will look for their power play to step up early in this one. The Rangers had one power play goal in Game 1, while the Lightning did not capitalize. If either team can get a power play goal, it could be the difference in this one.
Andrei Vasilevskiy will likely get the start in the crease for Tampa Bay in this one. Vasilevskiy has started in all 12 games this postseason, going 8-4 in those games. He has posted a .923 save percentage and a GAA of 2.53 in those outings. Vasilevskiy finished with 28 saves on 34 shots in Game 1 and will look to bounce back in this one.
Igor Shesterkin will get the nod between the pipes for the Rangers on Friday night. Shesterkin has earned a record of 9-5 throughout his 15 starts in the playoffs. He has put up a save percentage of .929 and a 2.64 GAA in those starts. Shesterkin stopped 37 of 39 shots in the first meeting to give New York the early series lead.
These two teams have been led by their goalies throughout this postseason. Vasilevskiy gave up four goals in five games before his rough outing in Game 1. Shesterkin struggled early in the postseason, but has stepped up big time as the playoff run has gotten deeper. If either goalie can come out quickly in this one, it could be enough for the win.
The Rangers were able to dominate Game 1 at home, but I think Tampa Bay will make adjustments entering Game 2 of this series. The Lightning have the experience to bounce back from a loss like that on the road. Vasilevskiy will also look to bounce back with a stronger outing in this one. If Tampa Bay can come out fast, I think they will tie this up before heading home.
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 is accurate with the experience and depth the Lightning have. As slight favorites in this one, I like the value on Tampa Bay to earn the win on the road to tie this series back up.