Betting on NHL playoffs second round series between the Lightning and the New York Islanders is what is called a toss-up. With the series tied one game apiece, tonight’s game 3 could be a turning point not only concerning who takes the lead, but also which team will eventually skate away with the series.
The Islanders won the first game in Tampa 5-3 before the Lightning realized they had home-ice advantage and won and game 2 with a 4-1 score, cutting off New York’s momentum. Now the series moves to the Big Apple, where the Islanders need to find a way to get second and third changes on Lightning goalkeeper Ben Bishop, who was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy.
Coming off their best win of the playoffs, the Lightning could be getting Anton Stralman and J.T. Brown back in the lineup, as they all skated in practice on Monday and could be available for Game 3. Additionally, forwards Erik Condra and Mike Blunden practiced Monday, while defenseman Matt Carle skated on his own. Tampa Bay killed off four Islanders power plays, but they have to remain outside of the box on Tuesday. Right wing Nikita Kucherov – who has scored six postseason goals – did not have a point in Game 2, but was still a factor with a plus-2 rating while reuniting with linemates Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson – who scored two goals in game 2, showcasing how much sharper Tampa’s offense was. Jonathan Drouin, who looked like he would not be betting on NHL team Tampa Bay again after requesting a trade and being suspended from the team in midseason, scored a goal and made six assists to complement 19 shots in the playoffs.
New York has to work on its power play to avoid a 2-1 series disadvantage. The Islanders didn't score on all but one of five power play chances and hardly put Bishop to the test with eight shots in the final two periods. Josh Bailey and Ryan Pulock will probably recover from injury in time for in Game 3, which should bode well their offensive prowess as well as their hockey betting odds. Pulock practiced on Monday and could return to the lineup in lieu of veteran blue-liner Marek Zidlicky, while Bailey may draw back in as well. Islanders captain John Tavares had a team-high three shots on goal in Game 2, but New York did not get enough production throughout the forward corps and the Shane Prince-Brock Nelson-Ryan Strome line combined to only one shot. Defensemen Nick Leddy and Travis Hamonic lead the team in average ice time and have a combined plus-1 rating.