New York Islanders (46-25-13) at Tampa Bay Lightning (53-24-6)
NHL Hockey: Monday, September 7, 2020 at 8:00 pm (Rogers Place)
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -156 / New York Islanders +130 --- Over/Under: 5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning meet in game one of their Eastern conference final best-of-seven series in NHL action from Scotiabank Arena on Monday.
The New York Islanders come into this series fresh off of their seven-game series win over the top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers after a 4-0 win over Philly in their last game. Josh Bailey leads the Isles with a team-high 17 points including a whopping 15 assists while Brock Nelson has 7 goals while sitting second with 15 points. Mathew Barzal has 13 points with 5 goals and 8 assists while Anthony Beauvillier has a team-high 8 goals as part of his 12 points this postseason. Jordan Eberle has 11 points while J-G Pageau and Anders Lee each have 7 goals in the postseason as well. Semyon Varlamov has seen the bulk of the workload in goal for the Islanders, posting a 9-4 record with a .921 save percentage and a 2.00 GAA but Thomas Greiss is more than capable as a backup, with a 2-1 record, .960 save percentage and 1.08 GAA this season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning come into this one the more rested side after taking care of the Boston Bruins, picking up a 3-2 double-overtime win over the Bruins in game five last time out. Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov each have a team-high 12 assists but Point has a team-high 6 goals as well to give him a team-leading 18 points while Kucherov’s scored four times for his 16 points. Ondrej Palat and Victor Hedman each have 5 goals with 4 assists for 9 points while Alex Killorn has 4 goals and 7 points and Blake Coleman and Yanni Gourde each have 7 points as well with 4 assists apiece. Andrei Vasilevskiy has seen all of Tampa Bay’s action in goal, posting a 10-3 record with a .931 save percentage and 1.91 GAA this postseason.
New York is 9-4 in their last 13 games overall and 4-12 in their last 16 games as an underdog while the over is 4-1-1 in their last 6 games against the Atlantic division. Tampa Bay is 66-32 in their last 98 games following a win and 21-7 in their last 28 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 9-3-2 in their last 14 games overall. New York is 4-12 in the last 16 meetings between these two teams.
I think you could make a case for either side here, as the Lightning are rested but rest can turn to rust real quick and the way that the Islanders grind you down physically over the course of a game could lead itself to the Islanders stealing game one. Instead of trying to pick a side, I’m going to side with the under here. As talented as the Lightning are offensively, I think it’ll take Tampa Bay a little while to get their feet underneath them after a week-long layoff, and while the Islanders have scored goals in bunches this postseason, I think Andrei Vasilevskiy stands tall here and helps keep this one tight and low-scoring. Give me the under in this one.