2022 Stanley Cup playoffs – New York Rangers-Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5 preview, X factors, prediction

The New York Rangers For more information, return to Madison Square Garden Game 5 The Eastern Conference finals On Thursday, the following two consecutive wins by The Tampa Bay Lightning The Sunshine State evened out the series at 2:2.

“We are one the three remaining teams. You expect them to do their best. You expect the best. And we want them to prove that we can beat the best,” Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba said. “We believe that we're an up and coming team. We've arrived. We are eager to play these games.”

What is the greater force? The Rangers' current home winning streak of eight playoff games or the Lightning's momentum throughout the series?

Here's how Game 5 was broken down:

2022 Stanley Cup playoffs - New York Rangers-Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5 preview, X factors, prediction

Each team's key non-goalie players

Rangers: Adam Fox. In Game 4, the Rangers defenseman was at his weakest point in the playoffs. Fox was a minus-3 in the scoresheet, and didn't make a shot attempt during 23:44 of ice-time. For context, this was Fox's only postseason game where he failed to score a shot. The other two were against the Flyers. Carolina Hurricanes.

The good news? Rangers' talented young blueliner has been enjoying home cooking and leads them to 13 points in nine home matches. If their forwards are hurt, they'll need to have more offensive support from their backend. Fox can help. It would help to have a bit more power-play time. The Rangers went 1-for-2 with the man advantage in Game 4, but Fox is so efficient as a quarterback.

Lightning: Nikita Kucherov. As captain Steven Stamkos You said, the Lightning know when Kucherov is on It sets the tone for them, when he's there. Former Hart Trophy winner is now the series' most important player. He was present for eight of the Lightning's nine last goals and earned a point on six. He has scored a number of important goals, helping Tampa Bay rally from being down by 0-2 in Game 3. In Game 4, he added a crucial second goal on a breakaway. His pass to Ondrej Palat Game 3 could be the turning moment in the series if it is won by the winner.

Kucherov has taken over the game and the Rangers must find a way to slow him down.

Goalie confidence rating

Rangers: 8. Despite the best efforts to make it 2-2, this series is now tied. Igor Shesterkin. Although Game 4 was not his best, it came after a remarkable 49-save Game 3 performance. Since Game 6 against the Rangers, he has scored more goals than expected and has kept them from losing in each game. Pittsburgh PenguinsThis is the backbone of this playoff run.

Again, he has played a lot in the postseason. He had two seven-game series in which he faced 83 shots, and another in which 52. He's not showing signs that the grind is getting to him, as his Game 4 performance suggests. The best news? He has an eight-game winning streak and a.948 save percent overall at MSG. He also has two assists.

Lightning: 8. In Game 1, the Big Cat played his worst playoff game and scored less than expected goals. Jon Cooper, Coach, believes Vasilevskiy suffered more from the nine-day layoff that followed their sweep. Florida Panthers. Based on his home play, it's possible there is something to it. Cooper stated that Vasilevskiy has “got his mojo back” ever since. It's difficult to disagree.

The Rangers, however, are an offensively different team at home. They average 4.22 goals per match at MSG, compared to 2.44 goals per match on the road. Vasy will face the “mojo challenge” in Game 5.

Way to victory

Rangers: Good news about injury is the first step. Ryan Strome And especially Filip ChytilThe engine for the Kid Line. Strome skated in warm ups before Game 4 but couldn’t go. Chytil was injures on a Victor Hedman You can check him during Game 4, he is, like Strome for Game 5, a game-time choice. They play crucial roles in the middle of a team that has only scored one goal even since Game 2. Gerard Gallant has to be able to play if one or both are unable.

The Rangers now need to play as if they were playing at home. This means that they must possess the puck and attack their opponents with aggression, while also earning time for their power play. Perhaps most important, they play with the same swagger that allowed them to win every home match since their loss to the Penguins in triple-OT.

“Best of all three. Two wins at home. Two of them were lost on the road. This is how a series should be in theory. Forward Chris Kreider said.

Lightning: Lightning fans were talking a lot about the possibility of a “switch being flipped” during Game 2 at MSG. They simplified their game by playing offensive flourish only when they had the time. The results were clear: From 28 giveaways in game 1, to 22 giveaways for Game 2, to 13 giveaways, Combination Games 3 & 4.

They should continue to limit the Rangers counterpunching rush opportunities, limit their power-play times and hopefully get Anthony CirelliCheck out the newly-formed checking line Brandon Hagel And Alex Killorn Out against the Mika Zibanejad Line — While watching Kucherov, Stamkos do their offensive magic.

Final score prediction: Rangers 3-3

The Rangers are the Harvey Dents of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. Though they're often horrendous on the road, they're Gotham City's white knight home. This is what I have seen for two rounds. They also won eight consecutive home victories.

The injuries are a concern. If the Rangers are able to play their game, fatigue won't be a concern. If they are trailing after two minutes and must defend more than they attack, it will look like they are skating in quicksand. The story is that the Lightning have recalibrated, shaken of the rust, and now control the series. It's hard to believe that the Rangers won't rewrite their narratives again after this playoff run.

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