New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning clash at Amalie Arena in an Eastern Conference showdown. The first puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 8, and you’ll be able to watch it live on TVA Sports.

New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Odds

With a moneyline of -275, Tampa Bay enters the matchup as the noticeable favorite. The line for New York sits at +240, and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -125 for the over and +105 for the under.

Tampa Bay is 46-21 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 12.7 units this season. That winning percentage, ranked first in the league so far this season, is a solid improvement compared to how the team performed during the 2016-17 season (42-40). Through 67 regular season matches, 43 of its games have gone over the total, while 23 have gone under and just one has pushed. The team’s 23-8 SU at home this season.

The Lightning currently tout the third-best power-play unit in the NHL, as they have found the net on 24.3 percent of their extra-man advantages this season. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 26th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 77.4 percent of all penalties.

As a team, the Lightning have been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, 4.2 per game over their last five matchups total, and 4.4 per game over their last five home outings. The team has had to kill penalties for 11.0 minutes per game over their last five home outings.

Boasting a .925 save percentage and 29.7 saves per game, Andrei Vasilevskiy (39-16-3) has been the primary option in goal for Tampa Bay this season. If the Bolts, however, decide to rest him, the team could roll with Louis Domingue (4-10-10 record, .881 save percentage, 3.82 goals against average).

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos will both lead the charge for the Lightning. Kucherov (86 points) has produced 33 goals and 53 assists and has recorded two or more points in 28 different games this year. Stamkos has 27 goals and 51 assists to his name and has notched a point in 46 contests.

New York is 30-37 straight up (SU) and has lost 7.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 34 of its outings have gone over the total, while 31 have gone under and just two have pushed. The Rangers are 12-20 SU as the visiting team this season.

The Rangers have converted on 20.6 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked sixth overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.8 percent of all opponent power plays.

New York’s players have been called for penalties 3.5 times per game in total this season, and 2.8 per game over their last ten contests. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 7.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Henrik Lundqvist (29.2 saves per game) has been the primary choice in the net for New York. Lundqvist owns a 25-31-5 record, and has registered a .916 save percentage and 2.88 goals against average this year.

Leading the offensive counter for the visiting Rangers will be Vladislav Namestnikov (21 goals, 25 assists) and Mats Zuccarello (10 goals, 34 assists).

New York Rangers at Tampa Bay Lightning Free Picks

Free Pick: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Three of Tampa Bay’s last ten games have been decided by a shootout. The team is 3-0 in those games and 5-2 overall in shootouts this year.
  • The over has hit in four of Tampa Bay’s last five games.
  • New York has managed 31.6 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Tampa Bay has been attempting 36.6 shots per game over its last five at home.
  • Tampa Bay has averaged 3.7 goals per game overall this year, but has raised that figure up to 5.7 per match up across its three-game win streak.
  • Over New York’s last ten games, seven of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 1-6 in those games).