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Surprising Islanders Face Tough Task Tonight in Tampa

Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders skates against the Nashville Predators during a NHL game at Bridgestone Arena on October 13, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The New York Islanders have been exceeding expectations this season and then some, as Barry Trotz’s club is riding a seven-game point streak ahead of Thursday’s road matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning while going 5-0-2 SU in that span. Sportsbooks opened the Isles as +180 road underdogs with a total of 6.

SHARK BITES
  • The Islanders are 1-9 SU and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games vs the Lightning.
  • The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Lightning’s last 10 games at home (avg. combined score: 6.0).
  • The Lightning are 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games vs teams with winning records.

Islanders vs Lightning Game Center

Islanders have been a poor wager against the Lightning

The Islanders coughed up a two-goal lead before losing 4-3 in a shootout to the Montreal Canadiens on Monday in a contest Trotz called their “worst game of the year.” New York hasn’t fared well against the Lightning, dropping five of its past six regular-season matchups against the Bolts.

Forward Josh Bailey saw his eight-game point streak come to an end in Monday’s game but still leads the squad with 15. Jordan Eberle, who has four goals and three assists on the campaign, didn’t practice on Wednesday but is expected to play tonight.

Tampa Bay rolled over the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Tuesday to notch its third straight win and sixth in eight home games in 2018-19. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov accounted for three goals in the victory, as the two all-stars have recorded eight points apiece in the last five games. Forward Yanni Gourde, who recently signed a six-year contract extension with the team, has scored in three straight and has 16 points.

Lightning have been a solid UNDER wager in Florida

The Lightning are used to getting fantastic goaltending from Andrei Vasilevskiy, which has equated to the UNDER cashing at a rapid rate when they play at home. In Tampa Bay’s past 10 games at Amalie Arena, the UNDER is 7-3. Tampa Bay’s dominance over the Isles goes back even further, as the Bolts are 9-1 SU and 8-2 on the puckline in their past 10 games against the Islanders. Tampa Bay is also 7-1 SU and 6-2 on the puckline in its previous eight games against teams with winning records.

Lehner, Vasilevskiy expected to get the start in between the pipes

Robin Lehner and Vasilevskiy are listed as the probable starting goalies for the Islanders and Lightning, respectively. Lehner (4-2-1, 2.45 goals-against average, .928 save percentage) was forced to leave the Isles’ matchup with the Penguins last Tuesday with an injury but has been cleared to return to the crease.

Vasilevskiy (8-2-1, 1.98 GAA, .935 SV%) turned aside 33 of the 35 shots he faced against the Oilers in his last appearance and has only one loss in his past five starts.

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