Tampa Bay Lightning (19-11-3) at New York Islanders (9-19-6)
|Date & Time||Tuesday December 17, 2013, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Islanders +105 / Tampa Bay Lightning -116 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
It is an absolute disaster on Long Island right now where the Islanders can't buy a win. This team just keeps losing and losing and finding new ways to do it. On Saturday night they actually played solid defense in front of Evgeni Nabokov but they still found a way to lose 1-0 in overtime to the Montreal Canadiens. Nabokov was back in the lineup after a two week absence and it was interesting to see the Islanders shore things up in front of him. People have been quick to call Nabokov the problem and the reason that this club can't take the next step but it might actually be that he's one of the things that has made them competitive since his arrival in New York. Kevin Poulin did not get the job done while Nabokov was injured and it was clear just watching the club play on Saturday that they feel more confident with Nabokov in goal. There's still time to turn this thing around but the Islanders might not be good enough to dig themselves out of this hole. As if all the losses weren't bad enough the Islanders had to deal with the thousands of Montreal Canadiens fans that took over their building and erupted on the game winning goal. It's a hard time to be an Islanders fan and they better hope they can find a way to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night because the schedule isn't getting any easier. Tampa Bay comes into this game having been very up and down of late but they're coming off a strong win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. Tyler Johnson broke a scoreless tie in the third period with his eighth goal of the season and J.T. Brown put the game out of reach before Alex Killorn finished things off with an empty netter. It was nice to see the young kids producing in the 3-0 win but this team is still going to have to rely on Martin St. Louis and hope that Steven Stamkos gets back sometime soon. Ben Bishop continued his absolutely dominant start to the season, recording the shutout and picking up his 17th win on the year. If the Lightning continue to get goaltending like this from Bishop they have a great chance of being a playoff team come April. Their inconsistency of late is the biggest problem I have with the Lightning of late and the Islanders should know based on their schedule that this might be one of the only wins they have for a while.