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Lightning Look to Close Out Series vs Islanders

Blake Coleman and the Tampa Bay Lightning will try to eliminate the New York Islanders in Game 6 of their semifinal series on Wednesday.

The only good thing you can say about the New York Islanders’ performance against Tampa Bay in Game 5 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series is that it only counts as one loss on the ledger. The Islanders (42-23-8 SU, 30-38-5 O/U) will look to stay alive Wednesday at home after dropping a humiliating 8-0 decision to the Lightning (47-20-5 SU, 33-35-4 O/U) two nights earlier.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders
  • Date/Time: June 23, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Nassau Coliseum
  • TV Coverage: NBCSN
  • Opening Odds: Lightning -150 | O/U 5.5 (Line History)
  • Lightning vs Islanders Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Tampa Bay opened as a -150 favorite, with the Islanders installed at +125, and those lines have held steady at the majority of sportsbooks. The total kicked off at 5.5 but has since shrunk to 5, with the OVER at -130 and the UNDER at -110.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

The Lightning turned the best-of-seven series on its head following their most complete game of the postseason – and in the process extended their streak of wins following playoff losses to 13 games. Tampa Bay wasted no time getting started, opening the scoring just 45 seconds in while putting three first-period goals on the board, the first time that has happened to the Isles all season.

And while we’ve sung the praises of playoff scoring leader Nikita Kucherov in this space, it’s time to recognize another significant offensive contributor. Brayden Point leads all NHL scorers with 13 goals in the Stanley Cup playoffs and has lit the lamp in eight consecutive games, the second-longest streak in league history within a single playoff competition.

New York News & Notes

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz addressed his team’s Game 5 drubbing perfectly afterward, telling reporters: “This result, how we played, if that doesn’t motivate us, then I’m not too sure what will.” The Isles were thoroughly outplayed from start to finish, winding up on the wrong end of a 42-21 shot differential while coming one goal shy of equaling the worst loss in franchise history.

Rebounding in time to force a Game 7 starts with taking better care of the puck. Tampa Bay finished with 15 takeaways compared with just eight from the Islanders. Scoring first will be critical as well: the Islanders are 5-1 in the postseason when scoring first and just 5-6 when they trail first. Tampa Bay is a sizzling 11-1 when scoring the first goal and 0-4 when it doesn’t.

Betting Pick: Tampa Bay (-150)

The Lightning have hit their stride at both ends of the ice, and it’s hard to see how the Islanders rebound from such a devastating loss. We like Tampa Bay to finish this one off Wednesday.

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Shark Bites
  • The Lightning have won 8 of the last 12 meetings.
  • New York is 4-9 in its last 13 home games vs Tampa Bay.
  • The UNDER is 8-4 in Tampa Bay’s last 12 games.