Islanders (+143) vs. Lightning (-165)
New York Islanders
The Islanders dropped a 4-1 decision in Game 4 on Sunday to find themselves pushed to the brink of elimination in the Eastern Conference finals. New York owns a 2-12 all-time record when facing a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven series, with its most recent success in such a hole occurring when they rallied past the Washington Capitals in 1987.
Brock Nelson has scored in back-to-back games to boost his goal total to nine, tying Anthony Beauvillier for the team lead. Josh Bailey set up the goal to lift his club-best totals in assists (18) and points (20), with his assist total trailing only Bryan Trottier (23, 1982) and Bob Bourne (20, 1983) in franchise history.
The Islanders need more out of their power play, which went 0-for-3 in Game 4 to drop to 1-for-14 with the man advantage in the series. However, New York has been outscored 8-3 by Tampa Bay in the third period of games during the series.
Tampa Bay Lightning
With a win on Tuesday, the Lightning would punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in franchise history and first time since 2015. Tampa Bay sports an 8-0 all-time record when holding a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven series, including seven instances in which it clinched the set in Game 5.
The Lightning struck quickly with four unanswered goals — including two in a 12-second span — on Sunday to record their seventh win in eight contests. Ondrej Palat capped the 12-second surge with his eighth goal in his last eight games.
Brayden Point (one goal, one assist) returned from a one-game absence and joined reigning Hart Trophy recipient Nikita Kucherov (two assists) with multi-point performances on Sunday. The top-line players each have 25 points in the playoffs to move within one of tying Brad Richards’ single-season franchise postseason record, which was set during Tampa Bay’s run to the Stanley Cup title in 2004.
Islanders at Lightning Betting Pick for September 15, 2020
The Lightning have been intent on righting a wrong since being unceremoniously swept by Columbus in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Andrei Vasilevskiy, in particular, felt the sting after posting an .856 save percentage and 3.82 goals-against average in that series.
The reigning Vezina Trophy recipient has turned the tables in 2020, notching a 1.93 GAA and .930 save percentage while posting a 13-4 playoff record. Look for Vasilevskiy to continue his stellar play on Tuesday.
Islanders at Lightning Betting Pick: Lightning 5, Islanders 2
Islanders at Lightning Best Bet for September 15, 2020
Point and Kucherov joined Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon with an NHL-best 25 points. Point, however, could be another game-time call after he missed the latter half of the third period on Sunday following a hit by Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech.
Point also captured seven of 10 faceoff opportunities for Tampa Bay, which won 62 percent of the draws in Game 4. In simplest terms, puck possession and dictating pace of play tend to go a long way in terms of offensive production for the Lightning.
Islanders at Lightning Best Bet: OVER 5.5 total goals (+112)
–Field Level Media