Two of the best teams in the NHL get together on Saturday when the New York Rangers visit the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning on ABC. The clubs are battling for the top spot in their respective divison while at the same time trying to hold off their closest pursuers. They were two of seven teams to collect 80 points and need wins to try and lock down first place, putting added emphasis on this contest. Tampa owns one of the better home records in the NHL and is playing its first game at Amalie Arena in a few weeks after just completing a six-game road trip.
The matchup between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning takes place at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 19, 2022, from Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL and will air live on ABC. BookMaker.eu will have odds for every game on the Saturday NHL schedule.
NHL Betting Lines at BookMaker.eu
Coming off a 60-point season a year ago, New York appeared to be in a rebuild. Well that’s gone better than expected and the Rangers have been near the top of the Metropolitan Division all season trying to chase down Carolina. Tuesday’s overtime win against Anaheim vaulted the Blueshirts into a tie for the second most wins in the Eastern Conference with 38 giving them payouts in over 63 percent of their games. As a result the Rangers are the most profitable team in the NHL up $863 on the moneyline. There is a caveat, though. They haven’t been nearly as good on the road with an 18-12-2 record leaving them $164 in the black.
Tampa can see a light at the end of the tunnel with their lengthy road trip coming to an end. Their six-game excursion through the West included three consecutive losses to Canadian teams and an uncharacteristic scoring slump. During their swing through Western Canada the Lightning scored a total of four goals in three games cashing the UNDER each time, though they salvaged a 2-1 win in Vancouver to stop the slide. And Tampa better enjoy this night since they head right back on the road for four more games following this one. Tampa will welcome a home game since they’ve won 19 of 28 games on home ice
New York Rangers
The Rangers have talented offensive players but they don’t need to score a lot of goals to win. The reason for that is goalie Igor Shesterkin, who’s entered the MVP discussion with his stellar play. Shesterkin boasts the league’s best save percentage at .938 and the second best GAA at 2.07. He has 29 wins in his 39 games played. The workload might be catching up to him, though. Shesterkin allowed four goals on 17 shots in a loss to St. Louis last week and allowed another four goals in his next start to Dallas.
And you can’t rest against the Rangers. They’ve shown the ability to comeback in games beating Anaheim after trailing by a goal in the third period. It was their 20th come from behind win of the season. “We’re a confident group. We never think we’re down and out. We’ve got a lot of talent and ability to score,” said Adam Fox, who netted the OT winner against the Ducks.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Despite a recent slump that put them further behind Florida in the race for the Atlantic Division, the Lightning aren’t overly concerned. They finished third in the division last year before winning their second straight Stanley Cup. However, for a team that scores nearly 3.5 goals per game the recent scoring woes are a concern. Tampa scored once against a leaky Edmonton defense. A return to basics helped snap the losing streak but didn’t help the scoring. Tampa beat Vancouver 2-1 with two goals in the first five minutes. Andrei Vasilevskiy did the rest.
Much like the Rangers, Tampa has a stud between the pipes. Vasilevskiy posted his league-best 31st win stopping 35 Canucks shots. The former Vezina Trophy winner has a 2.40 GAA and .918 save percentage. And it’s hard to imagine the scoring slump continuing. Tampa averages 3.4 goals per game with six players tallying at least 15 goals. They’ve cashed the OVER in 31 of their 57 games.
NHL Odds Pick
The Rangers won both games of a home-and-home set surrounding New Years day with Shesterkin posting a shutout in the second. The Blueshirts got a shootout win in Tampa in the first meeting. That means little now, however, and with Tampa returning home from a long trip and another one on the horizon, this takes on more meaning. And I expect the offense to break out.
NHL Odds Prediction: Tampa Bay 5, NY Rangers 3
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