3:10 pm
June 13

Islanders @ Lightning

Who will WIN this matchup?

New York Islanders (32-17-7)

@ Tampa Bay Lightning (36-17-3)


Starting Goalies:

Semyon Varlamov (NYI): Unconfirmed

Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): Unconfirmed


Current odds:

New York Islanders: (+170)

Tampa Bay Lightning: (-200)


The big prize in the semifinal playoff series between the Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning is a berth in the Stanley Cup Final, but for New York, it’s a shot at revenge when the series kicks off Sunday afternoon in Tampa. The Lightning dispatched the Islanders in six games in the Eastern Conference final during last year’s run to their Stanley Cup championship.

The Lightning — who went into the playoffs as the third seed in the Central Division — knocked off the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes to reach this point. The Islanders, the fourth seed in the East Division, upset both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins.

Knocking off the Lightning will be a tall order. Tampa Bay, which benefited from the return of forward Nikita Kucherov after he missed the entire regular season following hip surgery, has shown off its talent level with a power play that has clicked at 41.7 percent in the playoffs. While Kucherov is leading the Lightning with 18 points, including 13 on the power play, the high-end offensive attack is extremely deep, with captain Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman all averaging at least a point per game in the playoffs. Plus, they are near the best in the league defensively.

This marks the third time in four years that Tampa Bay has faced a Trotz-coached team in the semifinals. Trotz coached the Washington Capitals when they beat the Lightning en route to their 2018 Cup victory. So, even though these teams didn’t meet during the regular season, there is plenty of familiarity. “Whether we played each other last week or last month or three months ago, it doesn’t really matter,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “We know what to expect from them and they know what to expect from us.”

StreakSmarter Pick
Tampa Bay Lightning