The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning have knotted the NHL Eastern Conference Finals with the New York Rangers at two games apiece.
After losing a a pair of games in New York to open the series, Tampa Bay got right at home, feeding off its stars on its own ice.
Nikita Kucherov's breakaway goal in the second period provided breathing room in what became a 4-1 victory in Game 4 on Tuesday night. Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat and Pat Maroon also scored for the Lightning. Goaltender Andrei Vasilievskiy was brilliant, stopping 34 shots to breathe life into the showdown.
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The Rangers, who had huge momentum heading to Florida, will try to regain their form at Madison Square Garden. Game 5 is Thursday night. New York has won eight of nine games at home in the postseason.
Artemi Panarin had the Rangers' lone goal Tuesday on a power play in the third period. Igor Shesterkin, the likely Vezina Trophy winner, was outplayed by Vasilevskiy, making 27 stops.
New York, which has been mostly healthy in the playoffs, could have some injury issues to deal with. Center Ryan Strome missed Game 4. Filip Chytil was KO'd with a lower-body injury, but is expected back.
Do the Rangers regain their mojo in the Big Apple? Or does Tampa Bay continue its roll on the road? FrontPageBets considers wagers of interest as the Eastern finals come more into focus.
(Odds courtesy of DraftKings)
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers
When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
Site: Madison Square Garden, New York
Puck line: Tampa Bay -1.5 (+185); New York +1.5 (-225)
Money line: Tampa Bay -135; New York +115
Total: Over 5.5 (+120); Under 5.5 (-140)
The pick: New York, 3-2
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Gerry Ahern is senior content editor for FrontPageBets. A 35-year veteran sports editor and digital media executive, he has led coverage of the biggest events in sports, from Super Bowls, to Final Fours, to Olympics, to the Masters.