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Lightning Roll Into New York To Face Road-Weary Rangers

March Madness begins in NCAA basketball this week but for teams on the bubble in the NHL, it started two weeks ago. One of those teams, the 32-26-9 Tampa Bay Lightning, will travel to New York to take on a 44-23-2 Rangers club that currently holds one of those wild-card spots the Bolts are chasing.

SHARK BITES
  • The Lightning are 0-4 SU in their last 4 games against the Rangers.
  • The favored team is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games in this matchup.
  • The Rangers are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games against teams with losing records.

Tampa has won seven of its last 10 games and has gotten points in 13 of its last 15. That’s an impressive run with a playoff spot on the line and you’d think the Bolts would have the advantage heading into their matchup with the Rangers as the Blueshirts are coming off the first half of a back-to-back, but proceed with caution – New York is 8-2 straight up in the back half of its last 10 doubleheaders.

An issue for the Rangers, though, is that their No. 1 netminder, Henrik Lundqvist, will be sidelined for the foreseeable future and with Antti Raanta starting on Sunday, stopping 23 of 24 Red Wing shots, he’ll likely concede the starting crease to third-stringer Magnus Hellberg tonight. The former 38th overall pick has never made a start in the NHL but has a .786 save percentage in three relief appearances.

The Swede has a below-average .902 save percentage in 31 appearances with the Rangers’ AHL affiliate this season so if he gets the start, I’ll be on the OVER and I’ll more than likely be on the Lightning – depending on the line.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Rangers Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Rangers sit at 44-23-2 on the season; in comparison, the Tampa Bay Lightning are currently 32-26-9. Looking to wager on the totals? New York is 35-29-5 OU, and Tampa Bay is 30-30-7 OU. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and New York vs Tampa Bay injuries news.

The NHL Power Rankings show a disparity between these teams, with the New York Rangers rated this week at No. 24 and the Tampa Bay Lightning sitting at No. 9.

Statistical Matchup

The game also pits New York's No. 3-ranked offense, averaging 3.23 goals per game, against a Lightning defense that ranks No. 14 at 2.75 goals allowed. The Rangers power play is averaging 18.72% while the Lightning defense kills off 80.63% of their penalties.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Last time out for Tampa Bay, they were a 3-2 winner as they battled the Panthers at home. Moneyline bettors who got the Lightning at -131 were rewarded, while the 5 combined goals moved the game UNDER for totals bettors.

Last time out for New York, they were a 4-1 winner as they battled the Red Wings on the road. Moneyline bettors who got the Rangers at -132 were rewarded, while the 5 combined goals moved the game UNDER for totals bettors.

Betting Trends
  • Tampa Bay is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Tampa Bay is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 5 games
  • Tampa Bay is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
  • NY Rangers is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
  • NY Rangers is 13-6 SU in its last 19 games
  • NY Rangers is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games at home
  • NY Rangers is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Tampa Bay at Ottawa, Tuesday, March 14th
New York home to Florida, Friday, March 17th

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