NHL Playoffs Game 5 Odds, Preview, Prediction: Lightning vs. Rangers (June 9)
Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Igor Shesterkin.
- It's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals and the New York Rangers are hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- After a high-scoring Game 1, the goaltenders have dominated this series -- will that continue in Game 5?
- Tony Sartori breaks down the matchup and offers up a best bet below.
Lightning vs. Rangers Game 5 Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The New York Rangers host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The home team has won each game in this series while the under has hit in three straight games.
Will these trends continue in Game 5 of this Stanley Cup Playoffs series?
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning reclaimed the momentum in this series after winning each of their two home games, 3-2 and 4-1. Starting goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was incredible in those games as he allowed just three goals on 65 shots, a 0.954 save percentage.
Vasilevskiy continued his dominance in the crease and has now allowed two or fewer goals in seven of his past nine starts. He also boasts a spectacular 0.949 save percentage over that stretch. Over those nine games, the total has gone under 5.5 seven times (78%).
His metrics back up his dominant play as Vasilevskiy ranks third (only trailing Jake Oettinger and Igor Shesterkin) in goals saved above expected (GSAx) per 60 minutes amongst starting goaltenders who were in the playoffs. In front of Vasilevskiy is a very good defense that should continue to limit New York’s scoring opportunities.
In the playoffs, the Lightning rank seventh out of 16 teams in five-on-five expected goals against (xGA) per 60 minutes. On the flip side, their offense has generally struggled in the absence of star forward Brayden Point.
Point brings a pace to the offense that is clearly missing without him, which has been evident in the scoring department as Tampa Bay is averaging just three goals per game over its past eight contests without Point in the lineup. If you subtract out the four empty net goals they have scored over those eight games, the Lightning are averaging just 2.5 goals scored per game.
New York Rangers
Across the ice is the Vezina trophy favorite, Igor Shesterkin. Like Vasilevskiy, Shesterkin has been dominant in these playoffs and should continue his success on home ice in Game 5.
Shesterkin has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his past 11 starts and has an incredible 0.943 save percentage over that span. Over those 11 games, the total goals scored has been under 5.5 eight times (73%).
As I alluded to earlier, Shesterkin’s metrics back up his dominant play as he ranks second in GSAx per 60 minutes in the playoffs. In front of Shesterkin is an offense that has been wildly inconsistent outside of Mika Zibanejad.
In the playoffs, the Rangers rank 15th out of 16 teams in five-on-five expected goals for (xGF) per 60 minutes. Between this round and the second round, the Rangers are averaging a mere 2.91 goals per game.
Just like Tampa Bay, injuries could play a vital role in the Rangers’ offensive production moving forward as both Filip Chytil and Ryan Strome are questionable to play in Game 5. Outside of Zibanejad, Chytil has arguably been the best forward for the Rangers in these playoffs.
Lightning vs. Rangers Pick
After a high-scoring Game 1, this series has gone back to what most people expected before it started: a battle between the best two goaltenders on the planet. Following that first game, there have been five total goals scored in each of the past three games.
I expect this trend to continue in Game 5. While I normally despise laying this much juice on a line, I think the value is still there on the under due to how dominant each of these guys is between the pipes.
Pick: Lightning/Rangers u5.5 (-140) | Play up to (-150)
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