Lightning stole back home ice advantage in Game 5 with an impressive 2-0 win at New York. NHL odds are clearly favoring Tampa Bay but can they win one more & advance to the Stanley Cup final?
The New York Rangers Can Win Because…
They’ll be better in Game 6. The truth of the matter is that the Rangers didn’t play poorly in Game 5. It was a close game and both teams had their chances. The Lightning executed and capitalized on theirs but the Rangers failed to do the same. That’s the bottom line. It’s not as if the Rangers got run off the ice in this one.
The key for New York in Game 6 will be special teams. They went 0-for-4 on the power play in Game 5 and each time they failed, it really sucked the life out of the crowd. Even Lightning head coach Jon Cooper mentioned as much in the post-game interviews as he said the Rangers gave away momentum by failing on the power play. On the flip side, the Rangers gave up a power play goal, which was really the clincher for the Lightning.
In short, if the Rangers play better on special teams and continue to create similar opportunities, they are bound to play better and come away with the result they’re looking for.
The Tampa Bay Lightning Can Win Because…
They aren’t going to blow another home game. The Lightning have had their ups and downs in this series – and in the playoffs – but home is where the heart is for them. They were the NHL’s best home team this season and with everything on the line in Game 6, expect them to deliver the goods.
Game 5 wasn’t really an aberration for the Rangers offense as it was more so a trend. They have now scored two goals or less in three of the five games in the Eastern Conference final. Yes, they scored 10 in Games 3 and 4, but they only have six goals in the other three games. Tampa Bay has their number. On the flip side, all of the Lightning’s guns are going as Steve Stamkos is on fire, Tyler Johnson is lighting it up and their front lines are contributing. If they keep doing what they’re doing and keep Rick Nash in check, they’ll advance to the Stanley Cup final on Tuesday.
Tampa Bay is rightfully favored on NHL betting odds board but this looks all too familiar of a position for the Rangers. They’ve been here before – including three times in the last round – and they know what it takes to survive. The Lightning aren’t exactly as experienced in these types of high stakes elimination games and that will show. Look for a stellar effort from Henrik Lundqvist and the game to be a low-scoring, Rangers win. Take the dog with your NHL picks in this.
NHL Pick: Pick: Rangers & Under at GTBets.