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Scrappy Islanders Try to Force Game 7 vs Lightning

Islanders vs Lightning Game 6 Preview

The New York Islanders fight for their playoff lives against a Tampa Bay Lightning team that dominated play in Game 5 but came away with a loss. The Islanders will once again lean on their defensive play and goaltender to give themselves a chance.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders
  • Date/Time: September 17, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Rogers Place
  • TV Coverage: HNIC, SNET, NBCSN
  • Opening Odds: Lightning -161 | O/U 5.5 (Line History)
  • Lightning vs Islanders Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

This game opened with the Lightning as favorites at -161 and the line has shifted in both directions once again. Depending on the book, you can find the line anywhere from -155 to -165. The total opened at 5.5 with the UNDER as the favorite, but the number is now set at 5 across the board with the OVER as the favorite.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

The Tampa Bay Lightning were dominant in Game 5. Despite the outcome and despite managing only one goal, Tampa Bay controlled the game from a possession and scoring chances standpoint. The Lightning had 59.32 percent of the overall scoring chances and 66.67 percent of the high-danger scoring chances. Both figures were Tampa Bay’s highest of the series. It is safe to say the Lightning deserved a better fate in Game 5.

Part of the reason the Lightning couldn’t capitalize on some of those chances was the absence of top scorer Brayden Point. Point has missed two of the last three games and the Lightning have lost both games without him in the lineup. His status is still unclear for Game 6 and worth monitoring for betting purposes. He has been stellar this postseason with nine goals and 25 points in 16 games.

New York News & Notes

Although the Islanders had their worst game possession-wise in Game 5, you have to give them credit for their great goaltending and timely scoring. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 36 stops in Game 5, good for a .973 save percentage in easily his best game of the series. If he can maintain anything close to that level of play in Game 6, he gives the Islanders a chance.

Although the Islanders had their worst game of the series in Game 5, controlling only 40 percent of the scoring chances, the team has been closer to 50 percent in the other four games and actually out-chanced Tampa Bay in Games 1 and 4. New York will have to hope Game 5 was an aberration and not a sign that the Isles have run out of gas.

Betting Pick: Tampa Bay -160

Bettors won’t get a ton of value picking the favorite in this one, but we believe the Lightning are simply the better team. They have the higher-end talent from top to bottom and a superior goaltender. The scrappy Islanders have held on long enough.

Shark Bites
  • Tampa Bay is 14-6 in its last 20 games vs the Islanders.
  • The UNDER is 8-3 in New York’s last 11 games played on Thursday.
  • The Lightning are 5-2-1 in their last 8 games as the favorite.