The Islanders are fighting for their playoff lives, needing to win tonight’s game vs the Lightning to force Game 7. NY already staved off elimination once against Tampa Bay, winning Game 5 by a score of 2-1 in double overtime. The Isles and Bolts battled to a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation, each team playing their hearts out. Late in the second OT, Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk whiffed on a shot, prompting a break the other way. Isles’ captain Anders Lee hit Jordan Eberle with a sweet pass on the break, which Eberle one-timed past Andrei Vasilevskiy. NY goalie Semyon Varlamov played superbly, stopping 36-of-37 shots to help the Islanders to earn a hard-fought victory.
CurrentNHL betting odds list the Lightning as favorites in Game 6, with the puck line coming in at 1 ½ goals. The bar is set at five total goals for the over/under in this contest. Oursportsbook has everything you’ll need to put together a successfulNHL betting run, starting with this crucial Game 6 matchup.
Lightning vs Islanders Game 6 Odds
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-5 -110||220 1/2 -110 O||-220|
|New York Islanders||-5 -110||-5 -110||220 1/2 -110 U|
Lightning vs Islanders: Game 6 Overview
Vasilevskiy vs Varlamov
Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded more wins (35) than anyone other goalie in the NHL in 2019-20. Vasilevskiy’s respectable 2.56 GAA from the regular season has shrunk down to 1.88 in the postseason. The Russian’s .917 save percentage has also improved since the playoffs began, tightening up to .930. Although he was beaten in Games 3 and 5, Vasilevskiy will be tough to outlast in a seven game series.
The Isles’ Semyon Varlamov is no slouch in goal, either. Varlamov performed brilliantly in the Game 5 elimination game, and his overall 2019-20 postseason stats are not far behind Vasilevskiy’s numbers. It’s hard to complain about a 2.17 GAA and a .918 GAA. However, Varlamov is up against what has become an offensive powerhouse in the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Even without scoring machine Steven Stamkos for the entirety of NHL Bubble play, Tampa Bay has lit the lamp with shocking regularity. However, shut-down center Brayden Point is questionable to play in Game 6, and that’s a big deal. Point missed Game 3 and Game 5 to injury, and the Lightning lost both of those games. Tampa defenseman Jan Ruutu also remains sidelined for the Lightning.
Meanwhile, the Islanders gutsy defenseman, Johnny Boychuk, returned to the lineup in Game 5. Boychuk’s impact on the ice and in NY’s attitude was immediate. The heart and soul of the Islanders’ defense delivered five hits while blocking a team-high six shots. It seems like the Isles got their heart back, just as it was about to stop beating.
Lightning vs Islanders: Game 6 Betting Predictions
My original prediction in ourEastern Conference Finals series preview, was for Tampa Bay to win the series in five games. The Islanders have proven to have more grit than anticipated, and the Lightning have suffered key injuries along the way. I’m revising my prediction to this: Tampa Bay wins in seven games. The Islanders are flying high on survival and Boychuk’s return, and Brayden point is not 100% for the Bolts. Even if Point plays, he may be hobbled and less effective on the ice. The Islanders will live to fight another day, punching their ticket for a Game 7 loss to the Lightning on Sept. 19.