Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders Pick – Game 3
OddsHQ’s Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders Pick for Game 3: Islanders improved their performance substantially in game 2, and have a favorable position against the banged-up Lightning.
|NHL Betting||Tampa Bay Lightning||NY Islanders|
|Total||Over 5 (-130)||Under 5 (+115)|
|Where/When||Rogers Arena – Edmonton||8:00 PM EST|
Better Game, Same Result
The Islanders put themselves in a great position to win Game 2. Unfortunately, one of the few high danger scoring chances they allowed during the entire game, occurred at the worst possible time. Nikita Kucherov put a one-timer past Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov with 9 seconds left. Giving the Lightning a stunning 2-1 lead and victory in Game 2. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the New York Islanders, who probably deserved to win the game. However, a critical defensive lapse is all it takes for a team as explosive and potent as Tampa Bay to capitalize.
Not all the news is good for Tampa Bay after Game 2, in spite of their 2-0 series lead. The Lightning will be shorthanded upfront for Game 3, with a couple of very key absences from their lineup. Alex Killorn was suspended for this game due to a blindside hit on Brock Nelson into the boards in Game 2. Brayden Point suffered a hamstring injury as well in Game 2. Point’s absence would be a massive loss for the Lightning as he is their top-line center, and has been their best player in these Stanley Cup Playoffs. Point has 8 goals and 23 points in the playoffs. He is among the NHL leaders in playoff tallies, leading Tampa Bay in both playoff goals and points. The Bolts gutted through Game 2. Playing without those two forwards for most of the game. Being able to do so again in Game 3 will be a challenge, especially against an Islanders team, that will essentially be playing to stay alive.
Islanders Big Guns Need To Begin Firing
The one negative about the NY Islanders’ performance as a team in Game 2, was their inability to finish. The Islanders failed to put the puck in the net on the majority of scoring chances they got. Matt Martin who is a fourth-line forward scored the only goal for the Isles. Otherwise, it was a very quiet and disappointing night production-wise. As some of the Islanders’ best players like Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier, Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau were left off the score sheet. Players that should produce for the Islanders need to show up. Especially in a series against a Tampa Bay squad, that has routinely been getting balanced scoring and offensive contributions throughout their lineup. The Islanders can play solid defense all they want, but if they don’t find ways to get those timely goals. They will not be playing many more games in Edmonton beyond this one.
Islanders have to go Toe-to-Toe
The NY Islanders in Game 2 showed they could go toe-to-toe with Tampa Bay, and actually outplay them. It was very unfortunate for them they gave up the game-winning goal in the dying seconds. It had to be a brutal feeling losing a game they played so well in, and maybe they are just too demoralized to bounce back here in Game 3. Although that shouldn’t be the case. This is a very gutsy, resilient NY Islanders team, and their effort level will be very strong here just like it was in Game 2.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders Pick
It’s worth noting this is the first designated home game of the series for the NY Islanders. Which means they will have the last line change. That is significant with New York head coach Barry Trotz, who likes to match lines and try to get the best possible advantage he can find. No one should be throwing the Islanders in the dumpster just yet. I’m backing them here in Game 3, but will be splitting my wager up in half between the New York Islanders +120 in the 1st Period and for the full game +140 (via FanDuel). I don’t expect the NY Islanders to lose a third straight game, against what is now a bit of a depleted Tampa Bay squad.