Lightning vs. Rangers Game 1 odds, decide: The goaltending factor

The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers will drop the puck on the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday evening at Madison Square Garden. Despite taking part in at house, the Rangers are +110 underdogs for Game 1. The Over/Under for the collection opener is about at 5.5, with the underneath juiced to -125.

As we noticed on Tuesday evening, offense will outline the Western Conference Finals. That won’t be the case within the East, as the 2 finest goaltenders within the NHL are set to sq. off for the fitting to ship their workforce to the Stanley Cup Final.

Rangers vs. Lightning Game 1 decide (8:00 PM ET, ESPN)

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After trying a bit out of types throughout stretches of Round 1 towards the Penguins, Igor Shesterkin is again to his world-beating self heading into the Eastern Conference Finals. The 26-year-old skated to a .945 save share and a +14.4 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) within the seven video games towards Carolina. Shesterkin was the MVP of a collection through which the Rangers have been out-shot, 235-183, and allowed 118 high-danger scoring probabilities.

Igor Shesterkin reacts because the Rangers beat the Hurricanes.
Getty Images

There’s no purpose to doubt Shesterkin’s type in the meanwhile, however it’s value noting the competitors he’s gone up towards to this point within the playoffs. When Shesterkin stares down Andrei Vasilevskiy on Wednesday evening will probably be simply the second recreation all postseason the place he’s being tasked with going up towards the opposition’s starter. The solely different contest Shesterkin has had with a No. 1 goalie was Game 7 of Round 1 when the Rangers defeated Tristan Jarry in time beyond regulation. Jarry had missed the final two weeks of the common season and first six video games of the playoffs with a damaged foot.

So whereas Shesterkin has been nice — particularly of late — the Rangers have nonetheless wanted the utmost quantity of video games and needed to win 5 elimination video games to get up to now, regardless of taking part in towards groups that posted save percentages of .896 and .891, respectively.

In all chance, the Rangers will face a a lot stronger efficiency from Vasilevskiy, which implies New York might want to discover one other degree at 5-on-5. Through 14 video games, no workforce in your entire postseason subject has posted a decrease anticipated targets share (39.7 p.c) or high-danger scoring probability rate (35.8 p.c) at even power than the Rangers. Additionally, no workforce comes near New York’s 215 high-danger scoring probabilities allowed.

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The excellent news for the Rangers on Wednesday evening is the Lightning aren’t the kind of workforce that may come out and impose their will proper out of the gates in a Game 1. Tampa has made a behavior of taking a extra conservative strategy in series-openers in an effort to obtain info and really feel their manner into the matchup. Additionally, the Lightning will know that New York’s medical offense feasts on errors, so they might even go extra conservative than common. And that doesn’t even point out that that is Tampa’s first recreation in 9 days, so the Bolts may very well be somewhat rusty out of the gate.

The Lightning will probably have the lion’s share of the puck and the scoring probabilities on this recreation, nevertheless it ought to take a while for each of those sides to get their bearings on Wednesday evening. 

The Bet: First-period underneath 1.5 targets (-120)

Odds courtesy of BetMGM.

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