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Sports Betting Expert
The Eastern Conference Finals will pick back up on Friday night for Game 2 when the visiting back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning clash with the New York Rangers. Coverage on ESPN will begin at 8 p.m. ET from Madison Square Garden.
The host Rangers routed the Lightning 6-2 in Game 1. The game was tied at 1 prior to the Rangers taking the lead for good in the second period in part because of Filip Chytil’s two goals. The 22-year-old center has upped his play in the postseason. During the regular season, Chytil had eight goals in 67 games. He currently has seven goals in the last 15 playoff games and five goals in the last three playoff games.
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Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin and Frank Vatrano each produced a goal and an assist, while Chris Kreider also scored a goal for the Rangers. Alexis Lafrenière and Adam Fox both tallied two assists for the Rangers.
The Rangers have scored 17 goals in the last three games after scoring nine goals in the previous five games. This is the first time the Rangers have scored six goals in back-to-back postseason games since winning the Stanley Cup in 1993-94, according to the Associated Press.
This is a franchise record seventh consecutive home victory for the Rangers. Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin had 37 stops and is now 8-3 in the last 11 contests.
Steven Stamkos collected a goal and an assist, and Ondrej Palat had a goal for the Lightning. The Lightning--who played their first game since sweeping the Presidents’ Trophy winning Florida Panthers in the second round--had their six-game winning streak snapped.
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves after allowing no more than a goal in each second round contest.
Despite being down 0-1, the Lightning are favored by 1.5 goals in Game 2 vs. the Rangers. This is the same amount the Lightning were favored by in Game 1. The Lightning are 22-9 in their last 31 postseason games as the favorite. The underdog is 5-1 in the past six meetings between the teams. The Rangers are 2-6 in their last eight games as an underdog.
The over/under is set for 5.5 goals for Game 2. This is the same total that was marked for Game 1, with the OVER happening. It was the first OVER after five straight UNDERS for the Lightning. The UNDER is now 13 of the last 20 road games for the Lightning. The score has also gone UNDER with a 6-3-3 record in the last 12 Conference Finals games for the Lightning. Meanwhile, the UNDER has been the result in five of the last eight contests for the Rangers. The score has gone OVER in six of the last eight home games for the Rangers. The UNDER will be restored in Game 2 as both goalies take control.
The Lightning are attempting to become the first NHL team to three-peat as Stanley Cup champions since the New York Islanders captured four titles in a row from 1980-83. Meanwhile, the Rangers are seeking their first Stanley Cup title since the 1993-94 season.
The Rangers will cover the spread but the Lightning will earn a road win to tie the series.
Written by Rolando Rosa, our US sports betting industry expert. Twitter: @rolandorosa88