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New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 5/18/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Tampa Bay Lightning (58-30-8) at New York Rangers (62-26-7)

NHL Hockey: Monday, May 18, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)

The Line: New York Rangers -145 / Tampa Bay Lightning +125 --- Over/Under: 4.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: NBC

The New York Rangers look to take a 2-0 series lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game two.

The Tampa Bay Lightning learned that being dominant against a team in the regular season carries no weight in the playoffs and that theory was proven in game number one of the Eastern Conference semis versus the Rangers. The Lightning swept the Rangers in three meetings but never found their offense in a 2-1 loss Saturday. The potent attack of the Bolts was largely silent with only 24 shots on Henrik Lundqvist while Ben Bishop stopped 28 shots in defeat with the winner coming with under 2 ½ minutes remained in regulation. Ondrej Palat tallied in the third on the power play to give Tampa Bay new life but New York did a good job of keeping the puck off the net when the Lightning pulled Bishop late for the extra attacker. 

New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 5/18/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

I guess at this point in the postseason the New York Rangers and their fans accustomed to low scoring defensive struggles that generally hinge on the play of Henrik Lundqvist. That was the case once again in the EC semifinal opener against Tampa Bay. In typical fashion the Rangers won by a goal again which was their 15th one goal  contest of the playoffs. Lady Luck might have smiled a bit on the New Yorkers with the winning goal bouncing off the leg of Dominic Moore with only 2:25 remaining in regulation. That’s been the story of these playoffs for New York with a bounce or two of the puck often deciding games. Derek Stepan scored first for the Blue Shirts as he pounded home a loose puck in front of the TB goal with under 13 seconds left in the second while Lundqvist stopped 23 shots.

The Lightning are 8-2 in their last 10 games playing on 1 days rest. And the over is 19-5-2 in Lightning last 26 Monday games while the under is 7-2-1 in Tampa Bay’s last 10 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game. The under is 5-0-1 in Rangers last 6 home games while New York are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and  are 4-0 in their last 4 home games. The Lightning are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. No line is out but suspect it will be much the same as game one and it will probably be another close one…

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NY Rangers -130 // check back for updates // over 4.5

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