Tampa Bay Lightning (20-10-3) at New York Islanders (21-10-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 20, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Islanders -128 / Tampa Bay Lightning +116 --- Over/Under: 6
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The Lightning look to shake off a tough shootout loss to the Devils last night as they head into New York to face the Islanders.
The Lightning got a late bounce and tied the game in the final minute against the Devils last night but their come back bid came up short as they fell in a shootout and now have to continue their road trip and play a back to back against the red hot New York Islanders. The Bolts were forced to go with Evgeni Nabokov in goal as Ben Bishop is out of the lineup and youngster Andrei Vasilevski will get the start tonight and while Nabby played pretty well he wasn't able to get his team two big points on the road and will now be reduced to spectator and supporter in tonight's affair with the Isles. Tampa Bay is a very deep team that can beat you in a number of different ways but they just couldn't get their offense clicking last night despite a four minute power play in the third period and if they're going to bounce back here against New York they'll have to find a way to keep up offensively. Vasilevski will be matched up against Jaroslav Halak who will look to continue his strong start to the season.
The Islanders look to lock up their fourth straight win and 23rd overall but they know they will have their hands full with Steven Stamkos and company in the second half of a back to back. New York has been consistent all season long and for their efforts they sit in second place in the Metro division trailing only the Penguins by two points and have an eight point cushion on the Caps in third. New York revamped its lineup in the offseason and one of those pieces in Johnny Boychuk who has been out for the last little while is expected to return in this one which is a huge boost to the Islanders power play and blue line. New York is a team on the rise and their time is now and I think they will not only make the postseason but have a great chance at doing some damage and challenge the Pens for the Metro division crown. As for tonight I think they are in a good spot catching the Bolts in a back to back and on home ice I think they come out and get two big points.