The NHL season has begun Lightning vs Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN+, and TVAS. We begin things off in North America with a replay of the Eastern Conference Finals. Although both Tampa Bay and New York have enough offensive potential, our NHL predictions feel the goalies will make an early statement.
Here’s what you need to know as the NHL season kicks off on Tuesday.
While the season technically began on Oct. 7 and 8 with the Predators and Sharks competing in the NHL Global Series, the NHL officially begins in North America on Tuesday. The Rangers and Lightning will square off in the first game of the NHL’s opening night doubleheader on ESPN in New York.
When was the last time the Rangers played in Madison Square Garden? Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Championship Series versus the Lightning. On opening night, we get a rematch of the 2022 conference finals, as New York looks to avenge its series loss to Tampa Bay.
Last season, the Lightning advanced to their third consecutive Stanley Cup Finals, defeating the Rangers. Following victories against Toronto and Florida, Tampa Bay defeated New York before facing Colorado in the championship game. However, the champions of 2020 and 2021 were unable to complete the three-peat, falling to the Avalanche in six games.
Last season, the Rangers stunned many by finishing second in the Metro Division with 110 points. They overcame division rivals the Penguins and Hurricanes in the first two rounds of the playoffs before facing the Lightning in the conference finals. After leading 2-0, the Rangers lost four straight games to fall short of the Stanley Cup Final.
The Lightning will rely on their core group of Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and others to make another long postseason run this season. The Rangers, on the other hand, will rely on 2022 Vezina champion Igor Shesterkin, as well as elite players like Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox, to take another step toward becoming perennial Cup contenders.
When is the Lightning vs Rangers game?
- The time is 7:30 p.m. ET.
- Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y.
The puck drops for the Lightning vs Rangers game at 7:30 p.m. ET. Madison Square Garden will host the contest.
Where can I watch Lightning vs Rangers?
ESPN (United States) | SN1 (Canada)
Both games will be aired on ESPN in the United States on Tuesday night, with the Lightning taking on the Rangers first, followed by the Kings hosting the Golden Knights.
Sportsnet will broadcast the event in Canada, and it will also be accessible on SN1. It is also available to watch on SN NOW.
How to Watch Lightning vs Rangers Live Stream:
Lightning vs Rangers Broadcasting Live: NHL Network (try it free)
You can watch Lightning vs Rangers (US Only) on fuboTV (try it free)
If you have a cable subscription, you can watch the Lightning vs. Rangers game on ESPN+ and the ESPN app.
In the United States, select NHL games will be accessible to stream on ESPN.com, the ESPN App, or with an ESPN+ subscription. This season, ESPN+ subscribers will have access to almost 1,050 out-of-market games.
On ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu, and ABC, fans may watch up to 103 unique games.
Picks and Predictions for the Lightning vs Rangers:
The start of the season is usually a thrilling moment for the players, fans, and everyone else engaged in the game of hockey. But, no matter how many years of experience one has, the first game will always be nerve-racking.
Both of these teams have very high expectations for this season, particularly the New York Rangers, so expect some sloppy play to begin this game. Having said that, the one thing that both teams share and the variable that remains consistent is their goalie.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has been probably the finest goalie in the NHL for the past five seasons, but there may be a new sheriff in town as Igor Shesterkin is vying for that title.
Shesterkin had an out-of-this-world season last year, with a.935 SV% and a 2.07 GAA. Vasilevskiy wasn’t too bad either, with a.916 SV% and a 2.49 GAA. I expect both goaltenders to be crisp from the time the puck drops.
There have only been four goals scored in the first period of the last five combined games between these two dating back to the playoff series. Both netminders are clearly tough to beat, and I expect it to continue in this battle.
The opening period will be tense, and Madison Square Garden will be electric. I don’t expect to see many goals throughout the game, but I’m focusing on the first 20 minutes. I like the Under in the first period and will bet on it as my best bet.
My best bet: Under 1.5 in the first period (-110 at DraftKings)