NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 6/1/22

Igor Shesterkin almost single-handedly carried the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Final. Can he stake them to an early series lead against the Lightning?

We could have polar opposite outcomes between the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. The Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers combined for 14 goals, as the Avs dispatched Connor McDavid and company 8-6 in their series opener. Now, we get to see two of the preeminent goalies do their thing when the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers do their thing tonight.

These are the plays we're looking at from our daily projections!

New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Rangers ML (+106): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Under 5.5 (-115): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

The Bolts have had some time to recuperate after their convincing sweep of the Florida Panthers in Round 2. However, there's a fine line between rest and rust that could have the Lightning teetering towards the latter.

Still, defense remains a priority for the two-time defending champions, who kept two of the best offenses at bay through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Their defensive structure remains intact, with Tampa limiting their opponents to nine or fewer high-danger chances in seven of their 11 postseason games, including seven or fewer in three of their past four. Andrei Vasilevskiy has served as the last line of defense of the limited opportunities that do get through, stopping 93.2% of shots.

The more concerning trend is that the Lightning continue to get outplayed this postseason, posting a cumulative 49.0% expected goals-for rating. That metric has stumbled since the Eastern Conference Semifinal with Tampa getting outplayed in six of their previous seven outings.

Madison Square Garden was a magical place for the Rangers this season. New York compiled a 27-10-4 record at home during the regular season, shifting into sixth gear in the playoffs and going 7-1.

Igor Shesterkin has been one of the biggest difference-makers, putting together a 94.0% save percentage at home during the regular season and following that up with a 94.9% mark in the postseason.

According to our projections, the wrong team is favored in tonight's matchup. The Rangers have a 52.8% chance of winning, which is better than the 48.5% implied probability that comes with the +106 moneyline price. Similarly, there's an edge in backing the under in a game that both goalies could take over.

We rate those as one and two-star plays, respectively.