So far we’ve had nothing but one-sided series in the conference final portion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs — which wasn’t necessarily expected for those of us trying to sift through current NHL odds and picks.
It’s been a brutal week for me, too, as I’ve gone just 1-3 (because I’ve put too much faith in the Edmonton Oilers).
Sunday, however, allows us to shift to the East and the surprising New York Rangers, who have been absolutely taking it to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions in the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The series now shifts down to Florida and the house of the champs, where an organization on the precipice of a dynasty will be keen on not going out with a whimper.
It’s important to remember that you don’t HAVE to bet on every game. We’re giving you what we believe are the best picks for you to explore.
If it doesn’t feel right, stay away. You can always get ’em on the next one.
New to betting? Read our Beginner’s Guide to Betting with a glossary of terms.
NHL odds: New York Rangers at Tampa Bay Lightning, 3 p.m ET
- Game 3 (NYR leads 2-0)
- Watch on ESPN
- Full series preview
For all the talk of the Lightning going for their third consecutive Stanley Cup crown, it certainly doesn’t look like they’re all too interested in getting it.
It’s one thing if they’re being out-skilled — and the Rangers have an abundance of that — it’s something entirely different to be outworked.
That’s exactly what’s happening in this series.
New York is showing an abundance of more heart, tenacity, and hustle, which is making Tampa look all the more disinterested. Of course, that’s not the case, but the optics are obviously there.
Tampa will be hoping that a return home can spark some passion back into their game and an answer to supplement the absence of Brayden Point.
They’ve scored just four goals over two games against the domineering presence of Igor Shesterkin, who has outbattled the great Andrei Vasilevskiy by miles and miles this series.
He’s looked shaky throughout the opening two games of this conference final, though the team in front of him has done little to help him out.
Tampa has been a turnover machine with 50 giveaways already, creating a litany of odd-man rushes and Grade-A chances for the Blueshirts.
It makes the equation pretty simple for Tampa moving forward — up the aggression and crash Shesterkin’s net and simplify their game to limit turnovers.
This will be quite an adjustment to make considering they’ve rarely been the team with lesser skill over their previous 10 playoff series wins, but in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, you have to adapt or die.
I have too much confidence in Jon Cooper and the two-time defending champs to simply roll over in this series.
NHL Odds and the Pick