Jun 1, 2022 - Sports

Lightning head into Eastern Conference final more rested than Rangers

A hockey player squirts water from a water bottle into his mouth
Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) takes a break between plays during a game against the Calgary Flames on March 10. Photo: Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Y'all ready for some more hockey?

What's happening: The two-time defending Stanley Cup champs, fresh off a sweep of their rival Florida Panthers, are rested and ready to continue the quest for a three-peat as they open the Eastern Conference final Wednesday at the New York Rangers.

  • Meanwhile, it took the Rangers seven games to put away the Carolina Hurricanes in their second-round series, which ended Monday.

Time since the last game:

  • Lightning: 210 hours
  • Rangers: 20 hours

Why it matters: Time off can give players time to recover physically and to heal from injuries.

  • Case in (Brayden) Point: The high-scoring Lightning forward was injured in Game 7 of the first round, but could return sometime this series thanks to time off, per NHL.com.

Yes, but: Long breaks can sometimes negatively affect a team's play.

What they're saying: "People always ask, is it better to have time off or not," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, per the AP. "I guess the true answer comes depending on the next series, and how you play."

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