In NHL Eastern Conference Finals action on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Lightning will face the New York Rangers.
After losing their last two games, the New York Rangers will be looking forward to returning home. Each of these competitions took place in Tampa Bay. They scored 254 goals this season, which puts them in 16th place among NHL clubs. New York is the second-best defensive squad in the league, allowing opponents to score an average of 2.49 goals per game. The Rangers have a strength of schedule ranking of 24th in the league this season. They enter this game as the NHL’s 9th-ranked team when it comes to opponent-adjusted scoring margin.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to be the first club in this series to win on the road, since the home team has won all of the previous meetings. The Lightning scored 287 goals this season, for a 3.48 goal average. With this output, they are ranked 8th among NHL clubs. Tampa Bay’s defence is rated 6th in the league, allowing 2.78 goals per game. The Lightning have had the league’s 22nd toughest schedule this season. When you consider Tampa Bay’s scoring margin in relation to the quality of their opponents, they have a power ranking of 8th in the NHL.
Artemi Panarin leads the New York Rangers in points entering this game. In 82 games with his side, he has 22 goals and 74 assists. He has a shooting percentage of 12.4 percent on his goals. His offensive production has resulted in a plus minus rating of +21.0 while on the ice. Chris Kreider leads the team in goal scoring. 50.0 percent of his 52 goals have come on the power play. Igor Shesterkin is New York’s best goalkeeper, allowing an average of 2.07 goals per game. In 53 games, he has made 38 quality starts, a quality start percentage that is higher than the league average.
Steven Stamkos leads the Tampa Bay Lightning in goal and overall scoring with 106 points after 81 games. With a shooting percentage of 17.4 percent, he has reached his goal total of 42. So far, he’s scored 38.0 percent of his goals on the power play. Victor Hedman, who has 65 assists to go along with his 20 goals, is right behind him. His offensive production has earned him a plus-minus rating of +26.0 while on the ice. Andrei Vasilevskiy is Tampa Bay’s best goalkeeper, allowing 2.49 goals per game on average. He has made 39 quality starts in 63 games, a quality start percentage that is higher than the league average.
The over-under betting line for game 5 is set at 5.5 goals once again. The last three games in this series have all finished in a 5-5 tie. Both New York and Tampa Bay have been playing excellent defence, so expect the low-scoring trend to continue.
Free Pick: New York Rangers