After splitting the first two games in Florida, Game 3 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders will be on Long Island on Thursday. Tampa Bay evened the series with a 4-2 victory in Game 2.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for NHL playoff semifinal battle at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Tampa Bay is the favorite at -141. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts New York at +120 as the underdog.
Anthony Cirelli is listed as probable for Tampa Bay. Out for the Lightning are Anders Nilsson and Marian Gaborik. Jean-Gabriel Pageau is listed as questionable for New York. Out are Johnny Boychuck and Anders Lee.
Hedman Helps Lightning Even Series
Victor Hedman scored a goal and added an assist to help the Lightning even the series. Four different players scored for Tampa Bay and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 24 of 26 shots.
Tampa Bay is averaging 3.31 goals per game and is connecting on 11.2% of their shots, both third in the postseason. The power-play has been outstanding at 39.5%, second overall. The Lightning are led in scoring by Nikita Kucherov with 22 points. He has 17 assists. Point added to his team-leading goal total with a tally on Tuesday and now has 10.
The Lightning are allowing 2.31 goals per game and the penalty killing has been solid at 79.1%. It will be Vasilevskiy all the way. He is 9-4 with a 2.21 GAA and a .933 save percentage
Islanders Return Home Looking to Regain Momentum
After upsetting Tampa Bay in Game 1, the New York Islanders got a little dose of reality, losing to the Lightning, 4-2. Brock Nelson and Matthew Barzal scored for the Islanders. Semyon Varlamov had been brilliant of late but was removed after giving up four goals on 27 shots.
New York is averaging 3.36 goals per game and is connecting on 11.3% of their shots, second overall. The power-play has been solid at 25.6%. Pageau is the team leader in assists with 10 and points with 13. Nelson now has seven goals to lead the Islanders, tied with Kyle Palmieri.
The Islanders are allowing 2.71 goals per game in the penalty-killing unit have struggled at 63.6%. Varlamov will likely be back in the net. He is 5-4 with a 2.64 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
- 5-1 in their last six games on the road.
- 6-2 in their last eight games.
- 1-5 in their last six games on a Thursday.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders Pick:
Tampa Bay showed how quickly they can turn things around. They put up three goals in the span of less than 17 minutes, and added another power-play goal. This is the key to this series, as special teams are going to be the determining factor, and right now New York is having a difficult time shutting down the Lightning power-play. It will be effective again on Thursday as Tampa Bay wins this contest.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders Total Pick:
Oddsmakers got smart, realizing that many of the contests in this series are going to be right around five goals. Six were scored in Game 2, but that will not be the case in Game 3. The Islanders will get better goaltending at home and will hold the Lightning to three goals, but they are only getting one of their own.