Lightning vs Rangers Betting Preview: The Tampa Bay Lightning start their quest to return to the Stanley Cup Final for the fourth straight season. They have a lot to prove to their fans and themselves. This season promises to be tough, fun, and full of surprises.
The NHL standings 2022 saw the Tampa Bay Lightning finish third in their division for the second straight season, but when the postseason bell rang the Lightning found themselves in the Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche, losing in six games.
The Rangers look to build on a 116-pt season that ended with a conference final loss to the Lightning. There is no doubt that revenge is on the mind of the Rangers. Let’s continue our Lightning vs Rangers Betting Preview by taking a deeper look into both clubs.
Tampa Hopes to Avoid Early Season Struggles
One year ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning was fresh off a Stanley Cup victory playing the Pittsburgh Penguins on opening night. The Penguins proved that they were just a little faster and quicker to the puck in their 6-2 win over the defending champs. In fact, it took Tampa a few weeks to gain some traction, losing four of their first six games.
The two games they did win were in OT against the Detroit Red Wings, giving up six goals in the win, and Washington Capitals where they only scored once in regulation. It wasn’t to far of a stretch to say that Tampa could have lost six straight games to start 21-22. That was after playing just 138 regular season games over two seasons.
Is it reasonable to expect Tampa to have the same slow start after playing a full 82-game schedule and an additional 23 playoff games? We’re not too excited about the side in this game but the total looks attractive. Let’s continue by checking in on the Rangers. Be sure to find all of the best NHL betting previews right here, all season long.
It wasn’t to far of a stretch to say that Tampa could have lost six straight games to start 21-22.
Expect the Rangers to Activate Physicality
There is very little doubt that Head Coach Gerard Gallant wants to do more of what brought his Rangers within six points of the Metropolitan Division crown. As Gallant pointed out in last year’s postseason, they have the horses to play a tough and gritty hockey game.
That wasn’t the exact quote when attempting to remind the Carolina Hurricanes that they can be just as dirty as Carolina would like. The ‘Canes were reduced to a mist the rest of the way. The point is, a fresh Ranger team will want to set the tone for the rest of the season at home with a tenacious defensive effort in front of Igor Shesterkin who is trying to duplicate what Andrei Vasilevskiy has accomplished over his eight-year career.
Rangers Small Favorite at Home
The New York Rangers are getting the majority of support from the betting public but the bookmakers are happy where the number is. The Rangers opened a consensus -120 favorites, but there are better numbers out there so make sure you shop, especially early in the season.
Concluding our Lightning vs Rangers Betting Preview: Our official recommendation is to jump on the under (5.5, -115). This handicap doesn’t have to go much deeper than looking at the two starting goaltenders. You could spend hours making a case for each as a Vezina Trophy candidate, so a low total won’t scare us much.
The good news is the public seems to be on the over, meaning we may get a better number come puck drop. The Lightning has been profitable over bet for the better part of 6 seasons (670-588, +5761 units) but for one night the Rangers and Lighting will play an opening night grinder.
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