Tampa Bay Lightning will host the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday evening. The home side has booked its first win in the series, and they hope to continue in the same fashion. The visitors were competitive in the previous encounter, but they failed to secure a positive result.
Tampa Bay made the first step toward leveling this tie. The hosts need another good display in front of their fans to get things even before moving the series back to New York. On the other hand, the away side was close to upset in Game 3, but it failed to extend its winning streak. Nevertheless, new York will search for a better outcome in the upcoming encounter.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Will they level the tie?
The Lightning went through a rollercoaster in the previous match, but they managed to secure a vital 3-2 victory. Despite being 2-0 down during the second period, they turned around the result and booked a win thanks to Ondrej Palat’s winner in the last minute of the match. Although Tampa Bay won one faceoff less than the Rangers, they dominated the offense in Game 3. The Bolts fired 52 shots toward New York’s goal, and they could have been more clinical. The home fans hope their team will be more efficient in the upcoming encounter.
Nikita Kucherov is the first Tampa Bay player that has reached the 20-point mark in the playoffs. He also tops the team’s assists charts with 14. Victor Hedman has produced 13 pts so far, while Steven Stamkos has 12 points. Ondrej Palat has also reached the 10-point mark, while Corey Perry and Ross Colton have contributed to the Lightning’s offense with eight points each. On the other hand, Andrei Vasilevskiy has a solid .922 save percentage, conceding 2.54 goals per contest in the post-season.
Expected Line-Up: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Jan Rutta, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Steven Stamkos
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New York Rangers – Can they secure the match point in front of their fans?
The Rangers opened Game 3 excellently, but they couldn’t hold off their rivals in the second part of the match. A 2-0 lead wasn’t enough for the visitors to snatch a victory and get just one win away from the Stanley Cup finals. New York entered the final third being one goal ahead, but they conceded twice in the last 20 minutes of the encounter. It’s not strange since the Rangers had 22 shots less than the Lightning. The away side needs to improve its offensive work to increase its chances of securing a positive result in this match.
Mika Zibanejad leads New York’s offense in the post-season with 24 points and a team-high ten goals. Adam Fox tops the assists charts with 18 and has 23 pts in total. Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin have contributed to the Rangers’ offense with 15 pts each, while Andrew Copp has produced 13 points. Frank Vatrano has also managed to cross the 10-point mark with 11, while three other skaters have chipped in with nine pts each. Regarding the goaltending, Igor Shesterkin has been the Rangers’ first choice in the playoffs with 17 appearances. He has a .930 save percentage and allows 2.62 goals per match.
Expected Line-Up: Igor Shesterkin, Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba, Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad
Expert Pick #1 – Tampa Bay Lightning to Win @-175
Although they didn’t control the entire game, I think the Lightning can win again and level the tie. They have an excellent chance to return to the series, and I don’t believe they will miss it. I’ll back the defending champions as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 5.5 @-130
It should be another tight game, and both defenses should hold their lines tight. I see the game staying under a 5.5 margin for the third time in a row. Therefore, I’m going to take the Under as my second bet for this matchup.
Expert Pick #3 – New York Rangers Under 2.5 @-140
Tampa Bay’s defense managed to consolidate after conceding six goals in the series opener, and I think the hosts will keep their rivals under a 2.5 margin. Although the odds are not too generous, I will take this one as my third pick.