Expect Plenty of Unders in Eastern Conference Final between Rangers and Lightning

The Eastern Conference Final will showcase two of the top goaltenders in the NHL.
The Eastern Conference Final will showcase two of the top goaltenders in the NHL. / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

I can't guarantee you who will win the Eastern Conference Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers, but I can guarantee that we're going to see a ton of low-scoring games.

If you tune into Game 1 tonight expecting a similar outcome as last night's 8-6 offensive shootout in the Western Conference Final, you'll leave extremely disappointed. The two series could not be more opposite.

For proof, just take a look at the total in Game 1. WynnBET has the total set at 5.5, and the UNDER is favored at -120 odds. The Oilers would have gone over that total themselves in a losing effort in their respective series last night.

The Eastern Conference Final is going to be a defensive slugfest.

Expect Low-Scoring Games in Eastern Conference Final

The starting point to this conversation has to begin with the goaltenders. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been the top goaltender in the NHL the past couple of seasons, especially in the playoffs. He's now only rivaled by Rangers goaltender, Igor Shesterkin, who will be the winner of this year's Vezina Trophy as the top goalie in the regular season.

Both goaltenders have been lights-out in the postseason, as evidenced below.

Outside of Jake Oettinger, who had an insane Round 1 performance against the Flames, Shesterkin and Vasilevskiy are the top two goaltenders in the playoffs in terms of goals saved above expected. Shesterkin basically stole the first two series for the Rangers, and Vasilevskiy kept the top offense in the NHL to a combined three goals in a four-game series sweep of the Panthers.

The two teams are also second and third in the playoffs so far in actual goals allowed per 60 minutes. The Lightning are allowing just 2.39, and the Rangers are allowing only 2.82. That's a combined goals allowed of 5.21, which is below the set total of 5.5 in tonight's Game 1.

No matter who comes out on top in this series, don't expect a ton of goals to be scored.

You can track Iain's bets on Betstamp here.