Tampa Bay vs. New York Preview

The fans at Madison Square Garden will be treated to a game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers when they take their seats on Sunday.

Tampa Bay at NY Rangers
When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, May 24, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA
PREDICTION: Rangers 3, Lightning 2
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Oddsmakers currently have the Rangers listed as 140-moneyline favorites versus the Lightning, while the game’s total is sitting at 5.

The Rangers were a 5-1 winner in their most recent outing on the road against the Lightning. That made winners of bettors who got New York at +120 on the moneyline, while the total score (6) was good news for OVER bettors.

While the buzz after Game 3 centered around Lundqvist’s shaky play, there suddenly are questions surrounding Tampa Bay counterpart Ben Bishop after he surrendered five goals for the second consecutive outing. While Cooper dismissed questions regarding a switch of netminders, calling it “asinine,” there are legitimate concerns over the Lightning’s penalty-killing unit after allowing two power-play goals for the third straight game. “The penalty kill needs to be better,” said Bishop, who lost for only the second time in 12 career starts against the Rangers. “It starts with me. Six goals in three games is unacceptable.”

Team record: 60-31-8
Tampa Bay is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games
Tampa Bay is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Tampa Bay’s last 15 games on the road

While Lundqvist stole the headlines, an equally important development for New York was the revival of Rick Nash, who notched a career-high 42 goals in the regular season but had tallied only twice in the playoffs before doubling the total on Friday. “It’s just natural to grip your stick a little bit tighter and to not see the ice as well when you’re struggling,” Nash said. “The puck doesn’t feel comfortable on your stick, so any time you can get a goal and get a little confidence, it helps.” Former Lightning captain Martin St. Louis also broke through with his first tally of the postseason, ending an 18-game drought.

Team record: 63-27-8
NY Rangers is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of NY Rangers’s last 6 games
NY Rangers is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of NY Rangers’s last 7 games at home

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