New York Islanders (28-35-9) at Tampa Bay Lightning (39-24-9)
|Date & Time||Thursday March 27, 2014, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -215 / New York Islanders +195 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Bolts look to shake off back to back extra time losses on Thursday night as they host the New York Islanders in Tampa Bay.
The Islanders have had a very disappointing season as they have gone from being a playoff team a year ago to a league doormat this season and while a lot of that can be attributed to the Matt Moulson trade and the John Tavares injury it is still frustrating nonetheless. New York was on the brink of getting back to respectability after years of being a defunct organization but this year goes to show that things still aren’t stable on the Island and they have a ton of work to do to reclaim their glory days. The Isles have a shot to play spoiler for the rest of the season and heading into Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning fits that bill very well as the Bolts are in the midst of jockeying for playoff positioning in the East. Evgeni Nabokov is slated to get the start for the Islanders in goal as he goes up against Vezina candidate Ben Bishop.
The Bolts have been a tough team to sort out this season as they have exceeded everyone’s expectations and are in contention to land a home ice playoff series in the first round which would be a huge accomplishment for a team expected to finish near the bottom of the standings. Tampa Bay has encountered their fair share of controversy this season with the Marty St.Louis departure stealing most of the headlines but it looks as though they are just as well without him as the team has played very well of late and have their best player in Steven Stamkos back in the lineup. Tampa looks like they could do some damage in the playoffs depending on who they draw and a large part of that is because of the play of Ben Bishop in goal. Bishop has really come into his own this season and if he can match his strong play in the playoffs than Tampa could very well sneak into the Eastern Conference finals though it’ll be a tough road to get there. As for tonight the Bolts are heavy favourites but I don’t think the Isles put up much of a fight here as Tampa cruises to the home ice win.