National Hockey League action on Thursday evening and the Metro Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the New York Islanders grapple with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The Islanders enter this game off a 4-3 shootout loss at home to the Canadiens, while the Lightning is off a 5-2 home win over the Oilers.
Isles Fall To Habs In Shootout
The New York Islanders had been one of the hotter teams in the league, but they were cooled off by the Montreal Canadiens in their last game. The Islanders lost that game by a score of 4-3 in a shootout, and it snapped a five-game winning streak they were on. New York is now 8-6 on the year, and they lead the Metro Division by one point over the Capitals and Blue Jackets. That is despite that they started the year at 3-5. The Isles had a 3-1 lead after one, but Montreal notched solo goals in the 2nd and 3rd periods to tie the score and then eventually won the game in the shootout period. Scoring in the loss was Casey Cizikas, who scored twice and now has five on the year and Valtteri Filppula, which was his 5th of the year.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 7, 2018
Absorbing the loss was Thomas Greiss, who allowed three goals on 35 shot attempts to fall to 4-3 with a 1.98 GAA on the year. Robin Lehner is slated to get the start in this one, and he has gone 4-3 with a 2.45 GAA, and a .928 save percentage on the year, including 3-2 with a 2.87 GAA and a .912 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 3-7 with a 3.06 GAA, and a .903 save percentage against the Bolts. The Islanders come in ranked 13th in scoring at 3.14 gpg and 15th in power play conversions at 20.5%. On defense, they are 4th in goals allowed at 2.36 gpg and 18th in penalty kill at 79.5%.
Tampa Is The Best Team In The East… So Far
The Tampa Bay Lightning have gotten off to a strong start as they have gone 11-4 out the gate and are currently leading the Atlantic Division by three points over Toronto. They enter this game off a 5-2 home win over a hot Edmonton team, and they have now won their last three games in a row. The Bolts have outscored their foes 13-6 over their previous three games. Right now, they are the best team in the East, but the Maple Leafs and Bruins are still lurking, and both are very strong as well. The Stanley Cup representative from the East will come from either Tampa, Boston or Toronto. The Metro Division is not that strong. The Bolts took a 2-0 lead against the Oilers in the first and never looked back. Steven Stamkos (5th), Brayden Point (9th), Yanni Gourde (7th), and Nikita Kucherov (6th & 7th) all scored in the win.
On the hit from Lucic in last night's game: "Right now, it's no more of my concern. I can't really control what's happening next."
Practice day | Mathieu Joseph: pic.twitter.com/VzZuadylIV
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 7, 2018
Grabbing the win against the Oilers was Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 33 of the 35 shots that he faced to improve to 8-3 with a 1.98 GASA and a .935 save percentage on the year, including 5-2 with a 1.99 GAA and a .936 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 4-2 with a 2.42 GAA, and a .934 save percentage against the Islanders. The Lightning comes into this game ranked 3rd in the league in scoring, putting up 3.60 gpg and 10th in power play conversions at 25.5%. On defense, they are 6th in goals allowed at 2.67 gpg and 2nd in penalty kill at 89.3%.
Tampa Bay is:
- 43-18 in their last 61 home games.
- 37-16 in their last 53 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- 40-18 in their last 58 vs. Eastern Conference
New York is:
- 7-19 in their last 26 vs. a team with a winning record
- 7-21 in their last 28 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- 5-16 in their last 21 vs. the Atlantic
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I have to go with the Lightning in this game. The Islanders have played well of late, but Tampa is the best team in the east right now, and they have won their last three games in a row. They are a solid 6-2 at home, and they have outscored their foes by 1.50 gpg in those games. The Islanders have gone 1-9 their last ten games in this series, and Lehner is 3-7 with a 3.06 GAA in his career against the Bolts. Lastly, we note that Vasilevskiy is 5-2 with a 1.99 GAA at home for the year and 4-2 with a 2.42 GAA in his carer against the Isles. Take the Bolts in this one.
Prediction: Tampa Bay -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I would like to play the Under in this one because Vasilevskiy has been strong at home, but I will go with the Over instead. Robin Lehner has a 306 GAA in his career against the Bolts, and Tampa has one of the best offenses in the league, especially here at home where they have averaged 3.88 gpg. The Islanders have put up 3.38 gpg on the road and should get some off of Vasilevskiy in this one. The Over is 4-10-2 in New York’s last 36 when their opponent allows two goals or less in their previous game and 17-5 in Tampa Bay’s last 22 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 days situation.
Prediction: Over 6
Half-Time Side Pick
The Bolts are a strong team and they play well at home. The Islanders have been playing well, of late. but still, they are not at the level of the Bolts and I do not see them being able to hang with the Lightning from the start of this one.
Prediction: Tampa Bay -0.5 (First Period)
Half-Time Total Bet
I look for the whole game to go over the total and it should start with some scoring in the first period. The Lightning have one of the best offenses in the league and they may get the over in the first period on their own.
Prediction: Over 1.5 (First Period)