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New York Rangers at Tampa Bay Lightning Game 3 Betting Preview

The clock is ticking for whoever comes out of the Eastern Conference to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, as Colorado wrapped up the sweep in the West on Monday night and are sitting back watching, scouting, and, more importantly, resting.

The New York Rangers have a 2-1 advantage in this series, but the Tampa Bay Lightning defended their home ice 3-2 on Sunday and look to even things up 2-2 here. The Lightning are favored for the fourth time this series, this time priced at a lofty -179.

Rangers Need Just a Bit More Offense

New York was able to get nine total goals to the back of the net back at Madison Square Garden but found things a little tougher on the road Sunday as Andrei Vasilevskiy turned away 28 of 30 shots.

The Rangers did have a brief lead in the second period, going up 2-0 as Mika Zibanejad scored for the third straight game, and Chris Kreider added his second score of the series. Both of those goals came on the power play, which is a good sign for New York.

Usually, when New York puts the game in Shesterkin’s hands, the results are positive, but this time Tampa Bay rallied back to a 2-2 tie and then a 3-2 win on a goal that came with under a minute left. The three goals allowed by Shesterkin were the most he’s given up this series, but to his credit, he did face 52 shots.

New Life Back at Home

Tampa Bay looked like they were headed to an 0-3 series deficit after getting down 2-0 on Sunday, but then the big dogs stepped up. Nikita Kucherov and captain Steven Stamkos both scored goals to make the game 2-2 before Ondrej Palat put the icing on the cake with 42 seconds left to secure the 3-2 win.

Jon Cooper obviously came out with a different strategy on Sunday, and that was to pepper Shesterkin as they made the Rangers’ young goaltender face 52 shots. Expect more of the same in a hostile territory where Lightning fans can smell a series tie.

Vasilevskiy had his best game of the series allowing just two goals, a nice confidence builder after 6-2 and 3-2 losses in New York.

Rangers/Lightning Betting Prediction

It almost seems inevitable that Tampa Bay ties up the series on Tuesday night once again at Amalie Arena, where they have won five straight this postseason. Is there still some value on the Rangers at +150, though, considering Sunday’s loss broke a five-game win streak New York had posted in the head-to-head series?

Game Two went under the 5.5 total even though these two teams combined for 82 SOG. This is two great warriors going head to head in net, and it makes no sense to think either Shesterkin or Vasilevskiy slip up now. Much better value on the total than on the side in this particular goaltending matchup.

Pick: Under 5.5

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