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

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Weekly NHL Betting action sees the New York Rangers taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning May 20 at Amalie Arena. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

The NHL Eastern Conference Final moves to Florida Wednesday night where Game 3 of an increasingly intriguing series between the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning continues.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

Series ties 1-1
NY Rangers (67-27-2-5) at Tampa Bay (59-30-3-5)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Broadcast: CBC, TVA, NBCSN
Rangers NHL Betting Odds: +1½ -265 +116
Lightning NHL Betting Odds: -1½ +225
NHL Over Under Betting Odds: Un 5 -137, Over 5 +124
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After a lackluster Game 1 effort the Lightning made quite a statement in Game 2 in a 6-2 demolition of the President’s Trophy winning Rangers. Will it be the Rangers that prove that Game 2 was the exception, not the rule or will the Lightning be able to carry the momentum to get a leg up against the Stanley Cup favorite?

The New York Rangers will be a motivated bunch on Wednesday night. They will be out to avenge an embarrassing Game 2 loss and to improve upon the league’s best road record.

We can expect Henrik Lundqvist to bounce back from a game that he allowed an almost unfathomable six goals. Lundqvist is 19-11 with a 1.77 goals-against average, .934 save percentage and four shutouts in 30 games the Rangers have played following a loss since the start of the 2012 playoffs.

Offensively the Rangers will have to get more from Rick Nash who has just two goals in 14 postseason games this year. Martin St. Louis had two assists in Game 2 but it was his gaffe that allowed a 3-on-5 shorthanded goal against – it was the start of a landslide of goals for Tampa. St. Louis has yet to score in the series – another troubling stat.

All together the Rangers have scored just 28 goals in their 14 postseason games this year.

Better play from King Henrik and better discipline has to be the order of the day for New York in Game 3 – they were shorthanded six times Monday and gave up three goals on those six penalties.

The good news is that Lundqvist will be better and the Rangers have shown that they can stay out of the box – just 15 penalties in seven games against Washington led to just one goal against the Capitals top rated power play.

The Tampa Bay Lightning should be a confident group – not only did they destroy the defensively-minded Rangers in Game 2, but they return home where they posted the best home record in the NHL this past season.

They will also be buoyed by the fact that they have scored five or more goals three times this season against Henrik Lundqvist.

Offensively the Lightning could do no wrong on Monday night. Tyler Johnson registered the first playoff hat trick in franchise history Monday night to give him a postseason-leading 11 goals, Killorn scored twice and captain Steven Stamkos tallied once.

The Lightning have also scored 11 goals in the their last 26 power plays including 4-for-10 in this series.

Ben Bishop has been terrific in the playoffs and his play really helped the Lightning post the easy victory in Game 2. He made 35 saves Monday to improve to 9-1-0 lifetime against New York.

NHL Gambling Trends

• Under is 6-0-2 in NYR last 8 Wed. games.
• Under is 9-2-1 in NYR last 12 overall.
• NYR are 28-9 in their last 37 road games.
• Under is 7-2-1 in TB last 10 games following a win.
• Over is 10-3-1 in TB last 14 Wed. games.
• TB are 39-14 in their last 53 home games.

The New York Rangers were the best team in the NHL during the Regular Season for a reason – they have shown an incredible ability to bounce back. Remember when they were left for dead when trailing Washington 3 games to 1?

NHL Betting 4* Free Play

I expect to see the best of the Rangers Wednesday night as they find an answer for the Tampa Bay triplets; they stay out of the box and ride a motivated Henrik Lundqvist to the win.

New York Rangers +116

New York is a much better team than they showed Monday – I like them to gain back home ice on Wednesday.

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