New York Rangers (4-9 SU, 6-7 PL, 8-5-0 O/U) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (10-3 SU, 7-6 PL, 8-5-0 O/U)
When: 7:35 PM EDT, Thursday, November 2, 2017
Where: Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida
Lines: Tampa Bay -166/ New York +150
The Metro Division meets the Atlantic Division this evening as the New York Rangers duke it out with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The Rangers come in off a 6-4 home win over the Golden Knights, while the Lightning are off an 8-5 road win over Florida. Goalie Probables: Henrik Lundqvist will get the nod for the Rangers and the Lightning will counter with Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Rangers Grab Much-Needed Win Vs Vegas
It has been a tough start for the Rangers and it looked like it might have gotten tough as they trailed their game with the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night by a 4-2 score at the end of the 2nd period, but the Rangers scored four times in the final frame to pick up a much-needed win. The Rangers have been playing a bit better of late as they are now 3-2 in their last five games after starting the year at 1-7 and will be looking for their first two-game win streak in this one. Their offense was a huge problem for them early on, but that offense has come alive of late as they have averaged 5.00 gpg over their last three games. Scoring in the win over the Golden Knights was Jimmy Vesey, which was his 2nd of the year, Mats Zuccarello, which was his 3rd, Chris Kreider, which was his 3rd, Pavel Buchnevich, which was his 5th, Mika Zibanejad, which was his 8th and Michael Grabner, which was his 4th. Henrik Lundqvist grabbed the win against the Golden Knights and is now 3-6 with a 3.21 GAA and a .891 save percentage after stopping 30 of the 34 shots that he faced in the game. Lundqvist is 0-1 with a 5.35 GAA on the road so far. In his career, he has 177-162 with a 2.44 GAA on the road and 67-45 with a 2.28 GAA during the month of November, plus he is 138-104 with a 2.28 GAA against the Atlantic Division, while against the Lightning in his career he has gone 19-19 with a 2.38 GAA.
The Rangers have been below average on offense so far as they come into this game ranked 16th in the league in scoring at 3.08 gpg, while also ranking 14th in shots taken (32.1 spg) and 10th in power play conversions, converting on 21.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have not been that good as they come in ranked 25th in goals allowed, giving up 3.54 gpg, while also ranking 13th in shots allowed (31.7 spg) and 20th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.8% of their chances.
Stamkos Leads Lightning Over Panthers
The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to a great start this year after missing out on the postseason last year. They have won 10 of their first 13 games and it has been their offense that has led them. That offense is now tops in the league after beating the Florida Panthers by a score of 8-5 on Monday night. They now look to keep it going against a Rangers’ squad that is just 0-3 on the road and have allowed 5.33 gpg in those games. Steven Stamkos led the attack against the Panthers with two goals and he now has six on the year, while Nikita Kucherov put up his league-leading 13th goal of the year in the win. Also scoring for the Bolts was Brayden Point (6th), Ondrej Palat (4th), Yanni Gourde (2nd), Vladislav Namestnikov (5th) and Anton Stralman (2nd). Grabbing the win against the Panthers was Andrei Vasilevskiy, who did not have a great game as he stopped just 18 of the 23 shots that he faced, but he was bailed out by his offense. He will get the start in this one and is 10-1 with a 2.46 GAA and a .927 save percentage on the year, including 6-0 with a 2.32 GAA and a .927 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 30-16 with a 2.61 GAA in his home games and 6-4 with a 2.09 GAA during the month of November, while against the Metro Division he has gone 16-13 with a 2.56 GAA, including 0-2 with a 1.95 GAA against the Rangers.
Tampa Bay comes in ranked 1st in the league in scoring at 4.08 gpg, while also ranking 20th in shots taken (31.5 spg) and 2nd in power play conversions, converting on 29.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very solid so far as they come in ranked 6th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.69 gpg, while also ranking 21st in shots allowed (32.5 spg) and 16th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 19.6% of their chances.
New York is:
- The Over is 7-3-2 in their last 12 vs. the Eastern Conference
- The Over is 6-1 in their last seven overall
Tampa Bay is:
- The Over is 7-1 in their last eight home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- The Over is 10-3 in their last 13 vs. Eastern Conference
The Rangers are not a very good team right now, but they have been playing better of late, while the Lightning have one of the best records in the league. A big reason for the Rangers’ solid play of late has been an offense that has scored 15 goals in their last three games and I look for that offense to continue to grow in this game against a Tampa Bay team that can give up some goals. Lundqvist has struggled this year with a 3.21 GAA and he was shelled in his lone road start. Now he must take on the top offense in the league and one that has averaged 4.00 gpg in their last 10 games and 3.86 gpg at home. The clincher is the fact that the Over is 6-2-1 in the last nine meetings here in Tampa Bay. Look for a high-scoring game in this one.