The New York Islanders will face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, September 15, in Game 5 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals.
The Islanders are in a must-win situation, while the Lightning need one more win to qualify for the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals, promising a spectacular showdown at Rogers Place in Edmonton. We bring you the best betting pick for Tuesday’s clash along with the latest odds update and all the tips and trends, so let’s check it out.
The Islanders are without winger Tom Kuhnhackl and center Casey Cizikas. The Lightning miss center Steven Stamkos and defenseman Jan Rutta.
Tampa Bay is listed as a firm favorite once again. The Lightning are set at -170 moneyline odds on BetMGM, while New York is a +155 out-of-towner on the same platform. The totals sit at exactly five goals on Sugarhouse, and the over pays -137.
What’s at Stake?
The Islanders’ season is on the line, and Barry Trotz’s team is in a very difficult situation. On the other side, the Lightning will look to finish the job and enter their first Stanley Cup Finals since 2015.
Tampa Bay opened the series with a huge 8-2 victory and won the next game 2-1. The Islanders bounced back with a 5-3 win in Game 3, but the Lightning dominated their rivals this past Sunday in a 4-1 victory.
Hereof, the momentum is undoubtedly on Tampa Bay’s side, and the Lightning have been playing at the highest level since the start of the bubble action.
Andrei Vasilevskiy is leading the way for Tampa this postseason, tallying a 13-4 record with a 1.93 GAA and .930 save percentage. Although Andrei hasn’t recorded a single shutout in 17 starts, he’s been outstanding in most of his appearances.
Back on Sunday, Vasilevskiy turned aside 26 shots, providing a nice defensive platform to his teammates who took 36 shots towards Semyon Varlamov. Brayden Point had another big game, scoring a goal and making an assist, while he’s tallied a couple of goals and three dishes in an 8-2 win in Game 1.
The Lightning are a better offensive team than the Islanders, while both teams play excellent defense. The Islanders collapsed in the opener, but they looked well on the ice in the next three games.
However, their starting goalie Semyon Varlamov hasn’t been at his best recently. Varlamov is 1-5 in his last six starts, while he’s 10-6 with a 2.30 GAA and a .914 save percentage on the postseason.
The Islanders might switch to Thomas Greiss, and the 34-year-old goaltender is 2-2 with a 2.02 GAA and a .929 save percentage this postseason.
The Islanders will try their best, and that means they will play tough defense while trying to hit on the counter. The Lightning took more shots than the Islanders in three of the previous four contests, and I expect to see more of the same in Game 4.
Tampa’s defense will be a key factor. If Andrei Vasilevskiy put on another strong performance, the Lightning will finish the job in five games. Vasilevskiy had a mediocre Game 3, proving he’s only a human, but I expect him to make a difference Tuesday and help his team top the Islanders.
Therefore, I’m sticking with the side bet, backing the Lightning to win straight up at -170 odds.