The Tampa Bay Lightning have battled back into the series and now have a commanding 3-2 games lead on the New York Rangers heading into Game Six. The Lightning may have the chance to clinch the Eastern Conference crown tonight, but they know that it will not be easy as every game in this series has been a battle.
It will come down to which team limits their mistakes and which opponent capitalizes on those same mistakes that are made. Expect a fantastic atmosphere in Tampa for this Game Six contest.
Tampa is the heavy -190 money line favorite, while the Rangers are the underdog with +171 odds. Puck drop is expected to happen at 8:00 PM EST at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. Viewers can tune into ESPN and ESPN+ to watch the highly anticipated contest.
Can New York Avoid Elimination Again
The New York Rangers are 5-0 this postseason when they are facing elimination. They know how to win when their backs are against the wall. They have a small veteran group that is mixed with a good crop of young talent that is eager for this challenge.
To win Game Six, they must find consistent ways to get the puck past Tampa. They are consistent on the forecheck and handle the majority of the puck possession, but they just cannot seem to score goals as they did early on in the series.
Look for the one they call the “breadman” to make his mark on Game Six. Panarin will look to add to his six goals and ten assists this postseason. He is an electric player with plenty of ability to be a gamechanger.
If Igor Shesterkin can steal a game, this series will be very interesting. In Game Two of the series, the New York fans chanted “Igors Better.” If Igor can prove he is better, the Rangers will force a Game Seven.
The Bolts Need to Find a Way
The Lightning have limited their mistakes and kept the offensive attack of the Rangers at bay since Game Two. This has propelled the Lightning to a three-game win streak and ultimately put them in the situation they are in currently.
They are one win away from their third straight trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. If they are to win this game, it will be because of their defensive play.
Their defensive play starts with their goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy has been stellar for the Lightning since Game Two and has proven why he is known as the best goalie in the NHL right now. He has a playoff save percentage of .927, which he will look to improve on in Game Six.
Star defenseman Victor Hedman will look to be the leader on the back end for the Lightning and provide the calming approach in their end when things get hectic on Saturday Night. If Tampa is to go to their third straight Stanley Cup Finals, it will be directly due to the play from their stars in the defensive zone.
Lightning/Rangers Betting Prediction
The Tampa Bay Lightning have compiled a 6-1 record at home at Amalie Arena during the postseason. They are the two-time defending champion for a reason, and they have played like it in the past three games.
Tampa is the heavy favorite in the contest on the money line, and they possess +145 odds to cover the -1.5 puck line. They are the favorite for a reason; they have played like the better team and have won when it matters most.
Expect the same on Saturday evening when they are at home in Tampa Bay. Pick the Lightning to cover the -1.5 puck line with +145 odds and move onto the Stanley Cup Finals.
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