The New York Rangers are just 2-6 on the road in these playoffs and are +150 underdogs for Game 4 of the NHL's Eastern Conference Finals tonight at the two-time Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Yet that hasn't scared Caesars Sportsbook bettors off at all, as they are hammering New York to pull off the upset for a 3-1 series lead. On the total of 5.5 goals, the lean is over. Click here for expert pick.
As of this writing, 81 percent of all tickets on the moneyline are on New York and 65 percent of the money. Do note this: New York is a massive market for Caesars Sportsbook, so that may skew the numbers from that book. Sixty-seven percent of tickets and 58 percent of money are on the over 5.5 goals even though the past two games in the series have finished with a 3-2 score.
New York had a chance to put the reigning champions down essentially for good in Game 3, but blew a 2-0 lead about midway through the second and lost 3-2 on an Ondrej Palat goal in the final minute – his franchise-record 10th career playoff game-winning goal for Tampa. The Lightning have come up clutch several times during this championship run, and it was their second game-winning goal in the final minute of these playoffs.
Nikita Kucherov has factored on each of Tampa Bay's past five goals. He's the only player tonight given an over/under of 1.5 points scored, although the under is a -170 favorite. Kucherov is the overall favorite to score a goal at +145, followed by Steven Stamkos (+150) and New York's Chris Kreider (+170). His 34 career playoff goals are tied with Rod Gilbert for the most in Rangers history.
Kreider can become the first player to take the outright postseason goals lead for an Original Six franchise since 2004 when Detroit's Steve Yzerman scored in Game 6 of the conference quarterfinals to reach 68 career playoff tallies and pass Gordie Howe for sole possession of first place on the Red Wings' all-time list. Blueliner Adam Fox has at least one point in each of the Rangers' last eight games. He can become the eighth different defenseman in NHL history to post a point streak of nine or more games in a playoff year and first since Larry Murphy in 1995. Over 0.5 points is -160 for Fox.
Injury-wise, the Lightning will again be without forward Brayden Point, who led the 2020 and '21 postseasons in goals, but he was on the ice with full gear during an optional skate Tuesday morning and it sounds like a Game 5 appearance is a real possibility. Point was hurt in Game 7 of Round 1. Tampa Bay has won five straight home playoff games and has won five straight Game 4s at home. Their last such loss was in the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Rangers.
New York winger Barclay Goodrow didn't join the Rangers for Tuesday's optional skate but is expected to play. Center Ryan Strome joined the team for the skate, too, but left before it finished. On Monday, coach Gerard Gallant had said Strome was expected to play but said this morning he "thinks" so.
The Colorado Avalanche await in the Stanley Cup Finals and will be favored over either East champion.
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