New York Rangers (41-22-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (30-26-8)
|Date & Time||Monday March 6, 2017, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -115 / New York Rangers +104 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The New York Rangers look to keep their remarkable road record intact as they head into Tampa Bay to face off against the Lightning on Monday night.
The Rangers have been road warriors this season and it is a huge reason why they are considered a threat to win the Eastern Conference as they can elevate their game regardless of the building they are playing in and they can easily block out home ice advantage of their opponents. New York is a very impressive 21-6 in their last 27 games away from Madison Square Garden and with a very disappointing loss on Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens on Broadway the Blue Shirts will be out for blood as they take on a Tampa Bay team that is having a disappointing season but has really come on over the last few weeks. Henrik Lundqvist is expected to get the start in the Rangers crease as he will face off against Andrei Vasilevskiy who has taken over as the team’s every day starter after the trade of former number one Ben Bishop who was shipped to the LA Kings.
The Lightning were projected by many to emerge out of the Eastern Conference this season but inconsistencies and the injury bug plagued their production and has them fighting to stay relevant in the Eastern Conference. The loss of Steven Stamkos early on really took the wind out of the sails of this Lightning group as he was counted on to provide the bulk of the offense, and while there are others who have to shoulder the blame for how disappointing their season has gone I think this team can rebound nicely in a hurry when they are fully healthy. Tampa is 5-1 in their last six home games but have dropped 14 of their last 18 games following a win and that just cements how inconsistent they have been this season as they can’t seem to string two or three solid efforts together in a row.
The Rangers are 11-4 in their last 15 playing on one day’s rest and 5-2 in their last seven against the Atlantic while the Bolts are 1-4 in their last five against the Metro and 5-2 in their last seven overall. Tampa is a team to watch out for down the stretch as they have some very good pieces but New York needs the win here to keep up with the big dogs in the Metro and I think they will be playing desperate hockey in this one.