New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning Game 1 Predictions, Odds & Picks

New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning Game 1

  • The Islanders can’t change their defensive gameplan
  • The Lightning blueline will be key
  • Let’s look at the conference final trends
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Islanders vs Lightning Odds

Islanders vs LightningOdds
Islanders+128
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Lightning-148
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Islanders vs Lightning Predictions and Picks

The New York Islanders match up very well with Tampa Bay. We’re talking about two very fast teams that can really hurt you on the turnover and breakout. Each team’s goaltending has been up to snuff but the question heading into this game is who will be between the pipes for the NYI? Regardless of who it is, we should have a barn burner on our hands-on Monday.

Picks:

The Lightning  take a big 4-2 win.

Lightning to win at -148

Betting Trends

The Islanders hit the Under in four of their last seven games against Philly. Meanwhile, the Lightning posted 20-goals in their five-game series with Boston.

How to Watch Islanders vs Lightning

New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning Game Information
WhatNew York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning
WhereScotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
WhenMonday, September 7, 2020, 8:00pm EST
How to watchNBC Sports, Sportsnet

The New York Islanders went the distance against Philadelphia in their semifinal series. They went the full seven games before coming out on top while Tampa got by Boston in five. The Bolts haven’t played since Monday and will be well-rested with a full week off in their back pocket.

The Isles have a young nucleus of talent mind you and we don’t expect the fatigue to play a factor with these guys. What we do expect is a total back and forth, up and down legendary series. Based on the last few years this series has been brewing given each of these team’s trajectories. They’ve each waited patiently for their chance and the time to shine is now.

The NYI Must Protect Their Tender

You’ll notice we didn’t name the goalie just yet. That’s because head coach Barry Trotz will likely wait as long as he can before he announces his game one starter. Semyon Varlamov has been their workhorse but after a few switches last round with Thomas Greiss, Trotz gave the game seven keys to the German backup. He then repaid the coach with a shutout win.

Regardless of who is manning the crease, the Islanders need to limit the opposition’s chances. Much like they did against Philly in game seven holding them to a mere 16-shots a similar effort will be needed on Monday. The Bolts are a quick team that is among the best at moving the puck around the attacking zone. Keeping them to the outside will be key.

If the Islanders can keep the Bolts snipers out wide and limit their chances in close they can then rely on their speedsters to get the job done at the other end. Not only that, but they’ll free up their studs and allow them ample more opportunities to strike.

Tampa Must Look to the Point

You may be thinking this is a play on words for Brayden Point. In a way it kind of is. He leads all Bolts in points and is currently second among active players in the league as well. However, what we were shooting for is that Tampa needs to feed their own D, but also keep a close on the Islanders pointmen as well.

New York has done a great job in this postseason at working the puck back and making opportunities happen. Time and time again last game the Isles would work the puck down low and suck in the Flyers’ defenders to the corner or low boards before working it back to the point. This gave their defensemen loads of time to set up and throw some quality chances at the net.

If Tampa can get their own blueliners involved early as well, that’ll be a huge x-factor for them. Led by Victor Hedman, these experienced defenders have a knack for jumping up in the play and creating garbage tap-in opportunities in front. Their offensive talents must be on full display in this series.

Tampa Bay Lightning to Win (-148)

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Ryan Sullivan

Expert on Hockey

Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.