Round two of the NHL playoffs gets underway tonight in Tampa at the Amalie Arena, with the Islanders in town looking to upset the Lightning. The Isles have enjoyed their time on the road recently, winning five of their last six road games, including two in their first round series against the Panthers. They’re also had the Lightning’s number, going 4-1 against them in their last five games against each other, outscoring them 20-14.
The Islanders come into Florida as +139 underdogs, which is also a spot they’ve been thriving in. In their last five games as road underdogs, they’ve gone 4-1.
Unfortunately for Islanders backers, being home favorite is a spot that’s suited the Lightning this season. At -154 tonight, the Lightning are 21-9 in their last 30 as home faves. Looking at a smaller sample size, they’re 6-2 as home favorites over the last month.
The Lightning could get a major shot in the arm as team captain Steven Stamkos took the ice to practice with teammates for the first time since being sidelined since undergoing vascular surgery. While there’s no timeline for a return, his return would make the team significantly better.