The Tampa Bay Lightning (60-28-8) will look to even up the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers (62-29-8) on Tuesday in Game 4 as solid home favorites at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. The Rangers vs Lightning prediction has the hosts as the highest-ranked team in the NHL right now despite the fact the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions lost the first two games of this series on the road.
Rangers vs Lightning Odds & Analysis
Tampa Bay completed a great comeback from a 2-0 deficit in Game 3 on Sunday, with Ondrej Palat netting the game-winning goal with 42 seconds remaining in the third period for a 3-2 victory.
The Rangers scored their first two goals on the power play – extending their record streak of PP goals in consecutive games to eight – but they could not fend off a very determined Lightning club. Bettors seem to believe Tampa Bay will tie things up, moving the line up as high as -175 in early wagering action so far.
New York Needs To Forget About Disappointing End To Game 3
The Rangers did a lot right in Game 3, and usually that would be enough to get a victory. But similar to their first road game against the Carolina Hurricanes in the previous round, their strong efforts were all for naught when the final buzzer sounded.
New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 48 saves in defeat, which was 20 more than Tampa Bay counterpart Andrei Vasilevskiy, but even that performance between the pipes could not stop his opponents from picking up the critical win. Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider scored the two goals for the Rangers, who fell to 2-6 away from home this postseason.
Lightning Back In The Saddle Again After Strong Finish At Home
One goal can change the complexion of a game quickly, especially when a team is down two goals. Cutting the deficit in half in the second period roughly one minute after New York took a 2-0 lead was huge, then scoring less than 90 seconds into the third to tie it up gave Tampa Bay all the confidence it needed down the stretch. While the Rangers played extremely well, so did the Lightning, and the home team was rewarded for it.
Tampa Bay saw leading scorer Nikita Kucherov total three points (scoring the first goal and adding two assists) and captain Steven Stamkos had two (scoring the second goal and assisting on the first). The Rangers vs Lightning prediction will probably be impacted by whether or not that dynamic duo continues to produce in another big spot in Game 4.
Rangers vs Lightning Pick & Insights
Rangers: Keys To Victory
New York needs to stay positive even though the team was close to taking a commanding 3-0 series lead. Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant has done a masterful job in this series so far, and Game 3 simply came down to a timely shot in the final minute to win it.
Gallant’s players had an excellent opportunity to score the game-winner too when Kucherov was serving a four-minute double minor in the third, but a costly penalty by defenseman Jacob Trouba basically negated that chance about halfway through. There will be more opportunities with a man advantage, and nobody has been better lately.
Lightning: Keys To Victory
You can never underestimate the heart of a champion, and you can multiply that by two when it comes to Tampa Bay. The Lightning will not go down easily in this series and could still emerge victorious when all is said and done. But they will need to start stronger and put some early pressure on Shesterkin if they are going to have an easier time in Game 4.
Vasilevskiy was excellent in Game 3 and will need to turn in a similar effort here. If you are taking the home favorites with your Rangers vs Lightning pick, then you think that will happen, with the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner outplaying Shesterkin.
NHL Computer Pick: Lightning -175
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