Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders betting preview
Lightning: Andrei Vasilevskiy - playoffs – 12-4, 1.98 GAA, .929 SV%
Islanders: Semyon Varlamov - playoffs – 10-5, 2.26 GAA, .913 SV%
Despite stopping 31 shots, the 26-year-old Vasilevskiy had a bit of an off game, though you really can’t criticize his performance in the bubble. The Tampa goalie was saddled with just his fourth loss of the postseason and before Friday night, he had given up two or fewer goals in five consecutive games.
Varlamov deserves more than a fair amount of credit for his performance in Game 3, stopping 34 shots after the Bolts rallied to tie the game twice. The Islanders were outshot 37-35 — not necessarily surprising considering the DNA of both clubs — but the Islanders netminder stood tall.
The most fascinating aspect of the Lightning’s run through the postseason is that they’ve done it without superstar Steven Stamkos, which is a credit to their depth. Now it’s Brayden Point who needs time to heal, as the Tampa center will likely sit out for the second straight game with an aggravated hamstring.
While that may point to an Islanders series-tying victory, the Lightning still have more top-to-bottom talent — and Tampa has won 14 of its previous 19 games against the Islanders. Trotzy probably can’t wait to make me look bad again, but this a great price on a better Tampa team.
PREDICTION: Lightning ML (-144)
Vasilevskiy is too talented not to respond from an uneven performance in Game 3, and I fully expect the Lightning to clean up the mistakes they made in letting the Islanders get back in this series.
We all know New York is defensive-minded, and with Tampa down another scorer, my money is on the Under.
PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (-132)
Team total Pick
Tampa Head Coach Jon Cooper said the Lightning “gift wrapped” Game 3 for the Islanders, and I think he’s right.
Alex Killorn will return for the Lightning on Sunday, so despite Point and Stamkos being out, the Lightning should have enough firepower to score at least three goals.
PREDICTION: Lightning total goals Over 2.5 (-140)
Lightning vs Islanders Betting Card
- Lightning ML (-144)
- Under 5.5 (-132)
- Lightning total goals Over 2.5 (-140)