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NHL Free Pick: Lightning vs. Rangers Betting Lines & Preview

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Weekly NHL Betting action sees the Tampa Bay Lightning taking on the New York Rangers May 18 at Madison Square Garden. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

The New York Rangers take a four game win streak into Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Final on Monday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

Rangers lead series 1-0
Tampa Bay (58-30-3-5) at NY Rangers (62-26-2-5)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, May 18, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Broadcast: CBC, TVA, NBCSN
Lightning NHL Betting Odds: +1½ -260 +122
Rangers NHL Betting Odds: -1½ +220 -135
NHL Over Under Betting Odds: 4½ +109, Ov 4½ -120
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If there is one thing we know – this game will be tight. Each of New York’s 13 games this postseason has been decided by one goal; dating back to last year, they’ve played 15 straight one-goal playoff games, an NHL record.

Tampa Bay looked OK at times in Game 1 but was stifled by the defense of the Rangers. Will the same pattern hold true or will one of the more talented offensive teams in the Eastern Conference be able of get over the hump against Henrik Lundqvist and company? Let’s take a look.

The Tampa Bay Lightning absolutely need to get some secondary scoring. It was Ondrej Palat that scored Tampa’s only goal Saturday – his line has now scored 18 of the team’s 35 goals in the postseason. Tampa only generated 24 shots Monday against New York – not nearly the volume necessary to beat Henrik Lundqvist and company.

The Washington Capitals seemed to have the recipe for at least staying close to the Rangers – pressure and peppering Henrik Lundqvist – the Lightning obviously failed to read that script. Expect Tampa Bay to generate more in the offensive zone Monday – it is their only chance!

Don’t blame Ben Bishop for Saturday’s loss – he was very good. Bishop made 28 saves for the Lightning – he entered the series 8-0-0 against the Rangers with a 1.49 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage in his NHL career.

The New York sucked the Tampa Bay Lightning into their game on Saturday and hope to do so again Monday. 13 of the Rangers’ postseason games have been decided by one goal and they are 9-4 overall, with seven ending with 2-1 scores. Playing tight, low scoring games is the Rangers postseason calling card – nobody has done it better so far in the playoffs.

New York’s depth was at the forefront again in Game 1 – it was Dominic Moore that scored the winner Saturday – not one of the top Rangers dogs. New York can and will beat you in any number of ways offensively and their defense hasn’t shown any signs of letting up so far in the playoffs.

Henrik Lundqvist was his typical brilliant self on Saturday – he stopped 23 of 24 shots and now has limited the opposition to one goal eight times in 13 playoff contests.

Lundqvist made it look easy in Game 1 – or maybe the Lightning had a part in making it simple.

NHL Gambling Trends

• Over is 19-5-2 in TB last 26 Mon. games.
• Under is 7-2-1 in TB last 10 road games.
• Under is 9-1-1 in NYR last 11 overall.
• Under is 6-2 in NYR last 8 vs. Atlantic.
• NYR are 51-19 in their last 70 overall.

The Lightning have now lost three of their last four games overall while the Rangers have won four straight games. The Lightning gave us no indication that things should change drastically in Game 2.

NHL Betting 4* Free Play

Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi have been brilliant so far in limiting the effectiveness of the opposition’s top players – Marc Staal and Dan Boyle were terrific against Tampa’s second line of Steve Stamkos, Valtteri Filppula and Alex Killorn.

New York Rangers -135

If Tampa’s top two lines are held down, the Lightning lose -period. I think that’s what happens Monday.

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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