National Hockey League action on Monday 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 won the first meeting at home by a score of 5-2. New York enters this game at 19-9 on the year while the Bolts are 14-13.
The Islanders Need More OffenseThe New York Islanders have gotten off to a great start this year as they have gone 19-9 through their first 28 games. Still, think of where they would be if they had a bit more offense, especially of late. the Islanders come in off a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on the road and they have now gone just 3-5 over their last eight games. The Isles have averaged just 1.75 gpg over that eight-game stretch. The Islanders will clearly need more offense than that, especially in this one against a Tampa Bay team that leads the league in scoring. Despite their strong start and the fact that they are in 2nd place in the Metro Division, the Islanders are still nine points out of first. Scoring their lone goal against the Stars was Mathew Barzal, which was his 12th of the year.
“At the end of the day it was the two power-play goals. They have a good hockey team. It was a well-played game.” - Barry Trotz pic.twitter.com/pguty2VSrr— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 8, 2019
Absorbing the loss to the Stars was Thomas Greiss, who allowed three goals on 37 shot attempts to fall to 10-4 with a 2.24 GAA on the year. Semyon Varlamov is slated to get the start in this one and he has gone 9-5 with a 2.35 GAA on the year, including 4-2 with a 1.81 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 94-116 with a 2.89 GAA on the road and 35-36 with a 2.76 GAA during the month of November, plus 9-8 with a 2.44 GAA against the Lightning.The Islanders enter this game ranked 18th in the league in scoring at 2.82 gpg and 19th in power-play conversions at 18.2% while on the defensive end of the ice, they are 4th in the league in goals allowed at 2.43 gpg and 14th in penalty kill at 81.6%.
Bolts Zap Sharks Into ChumThe Tampa Bay Lightning have gotten off to a rather mediocre start this year, which is a bit shocking after they were by far the best team in the regular season a year ago. Tampa Bay enters this game at 14-13 on the year and in 6th place in the Atlantic Division. The Bolts won the division last year by 21 points but they enter this game sitting 15 points out of first. Tampa Bay enters this game off a 7-1 home win over the Sharks and while they have won two of their last three games, they have also lost four of their last six. The Bolts have the potential to make a big run, but catching the Bruins in the Division may already be out of reach. Scoring in the win over the Sharks was Tyler Johnson, who scored twice and now has seven on the year, Alex Killorn, which was his 8th, Steven Stamkos, who scored twice and now has nine on the year, Victor Hedman, which was his 7th and Carter Verhaeghe, which was the first of his career.
“I think I needed to take another step in my game. I’ve been working for the last couple months trying to adjust and get better and it paid off tonight.”#SJSvsTBL | Carter Verhaeghe: pic.twitter.com/P9Rnp1f9UZ— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) December 8, 2019
Grabbing the win against the Sharks was Andrei Vasilevskiy, who allowed one goal on 38 shot attempts to move to 11-9 with a 2.91 GAA on the year, including 6-4 with a 3.05 GAA here at home. In his career, he has gone 79-37 with a 2.66 GAA he at Amalie Arena and 25-9 with a 2.52 GAA during the month of December, plus 6-4 with a 2.46 GAA against the Islanders.The Bolts enter this game ranked 1st in the league in scoring at 3.74 gpg and 2nd in power-play conversions at 30.0% while on the defensive end of the ice, they are 23rd in the league in goals allowed at 3.22 gpg and 18th in penalty kill at 79.3%.
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com New York is:
- 1-5 in their last 6 road games
- 3-11 in their last 14 games in this ser1es
- 1-5 in their last six games here in Tampa
Tampa Bay is:
- 54-19 in their last 73 vs. the Eastern Conference
- 70-33 in their last 103 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game
- 46-19 in their last 65 games playing on 1 days rest