The New York Islanders will be looking to even out their series when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Tampa Bay defeated New York on Thursday, 2-1.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for the NHL playoff semifinal battle at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Tampa Bay is the favorite at -132. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts New York at +110 as the underdog.
Out for the Lightning are Anders Nilsson and Marian Gaborik. Johnny Boychuck and Anders Lee are out for the Islanders.
Vasilevskiy Leads Lightning Past Islanders
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 of 28 shots to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 2-1 victory in Game 3. Yanni Goude gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead, but the Islanders would tie the score 17:01 into the second. However, with 20 seconds left in the period, Brayden Point scored the game-winner.
Tampa Bay is averaging 3.21 goals per game and is connecting on 11.0% of their shots, both second overall in the postseason. The Lightning are also second on the power-play at 38.6%. Point now has 11 goals and 15 total points. Nikita Kucherov leads the team with 18 assists and 23 points.
The Lightning are allowing 2.21 goals per game and are solid in penalty killing at 79.6%. Vasilevskiy has been outstanding, going 10-4 with a 2.13 GAA and a .935 save percentage.
Varlamov Solid But Offense Falters
Semyon Varlamov stopped 23 of 27 shots, but his offense could do nothing for him in the loss. Cal Clutterbuck had the lone goal for the Islanders, his fourth of the postseason.
New York is averaging 3.20 goals per game and is connecting on 10.8% of their shots, both third during the postseason. They are fifth on the power-play at 25.0%. New York is led by Jean-Gabriel Pageau with 10 assists and 13 points. Brock Nelson is tied with Kyle Palmieri for the team lead with seven goals.
The Islanders are averaging allowing 2.67 goals per game, but the penalty killing has been terrible at 64.7%. Varlamov is now 5-5 with a 2.58 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
- 4-0 in their last four games on the road.
- 4-1 in their last five games.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders Pick:
The Islanders will have a chance in this game as long as Varlamov is able to keep Tampa Bay to no more than one goal in the contest. He is definitely going to have to steal a game with his goaltending for New York to win, but that is a tough task against a very good Lightning team. Vasilevkiy simply outplayed the Islanders goaltender in the last contest, and I expect to see that here as well
NHL Picks: Take Tampa Bay at -132.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders Total Prediction:
In the preview for Game 3, I explained that the only way that New York was going to win any games in the series was if Varlamov was able to keep Tampa Bay to under three goals. He accomplished just that, but the Islanders were still unable to win because Vasilevskiy is playing exceptionally well. The other part of that equation is the ability of the Islanders to score goals, something they are not going to be able to do. Oddsmakers think this game is going over, but don’t count on it.
Pick: Go under 5.0 at +110