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Lightning Look Ready to Strike in Game 2 vs Islanders

Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning look to rebound in Game 2 vs the New York Islanders

The New York Islanders are no fluke – and the Tampa Bay Lightning needed just one game to absorb that statement, with the teams now regrouping Tuesday night in Florida for Game 2 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series. The Islanders (41-20-8 SU, 28-37-4 O/U) went into Amalie Arena and stunned the heavily favored Lightning (44-19-5 SU, 31-34-3 O/U) with a 2-1 overtime win to open the series.

New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Date/Time: June 15, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Amalie Arena
  • TV Coverage: NBCSN
  • Opening Odds: Lightning -185 | O/U 5.5 (Line History)
  • Islanders vs Lightning Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Tampa Bay kicked off the betting cycle as a -185 favorite and has since grown to -200 or even -205 in some spots. The total opened at 5.5 with the odds heavily skewed toward the UNDER, but the number has since dropped to 5 with the OVER at -125 and the UNDER at +105.

New York News & Notes

New York might not have been taken seriously despite knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 1, but dispatching the Boston Bruins in six games in the second round has certainly made believers out of the betting public. The same, however, can’t be said of oddsmakers, who have the Isles as an underdog for the eighth straight game (they’re 5-2 in the previous seven).

The key to making underdog bettors happy once again Tuesday night: duplicating their sterling all-around effort from Game 1. The Isles won the blocked shots battle (13-8), surrendered just two power-play opportunities and won more than 60 percent of the faceoffs. And there’s even room for improvement after New York went scoreless on its three man-advantage chances.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

The Lightning have been one of the top offensive teams in the postseason, entering Tuesday ranked second among the remaining four teams in goals per game with 3.25 (behind only the Islanders at 3.46). Yet they couldn’t muster much of anything in Sunday’s series opener, prompting head coach Jon Cooper to lament after the game: “Our work ethic was there. Our minds weren’t there.”

Yet, while the Islanders struck first in the rematch of last summer’s Eastern Conference final, there’s reason to be optimistic about a Lightning bounce-back in Game 2. Tampa hasn’t lost consecutive games at any point during the Stanley Cup playoffs and has a plus-10 goal differential in just three games following a defeat so far in the postseason.

Betting Pick: Lightning (-200)

Tampa Bay’s impressive post-loss resume is noteworthy, as is the fact that the Islanders’ current three-game road winning streak is its longest of the season. Expect an emphatic Lightning rebound Tuesday.

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Shark Bites
  • The Islanders are 5-1 in their last 6 games.
  • Tampa Bay is 5-2 in its past 7 games.
  • The UNDER is 7-1 in the Lightning’s last 8 games.