New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning Game 2 Pick – 6/15/21

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islanders vs. lightning
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New York Islanders (41-20-8) at Tampa Bay Lightning (44195)

The Islanders scored an upset in Game 1 of this series beating the Lightning and they now have home ice advantage. This playoff game can be seen on NBCSC.

Oddsmakers have the hometown Lightning as the betting favorites in Game 2 at -185 with the Islanders at +155 and a total of 5.5 goals.

The Islanders beat the Lighting 2-1 in Game 1 of this series and, overall, they have won their last four games. Their defense has been solid in the playoffs and while not a high scoring team they had totaled 15 goals in three games before only scoring two in the last one.

The Lightning were one of the highest scoring teams in the regular season and after scoring six goals in a playoff win they have only scored three goals in their last two games.

The road team has won the last four games between these teams.

Defense is Solid, Again

The Islanders played great D in the 2-1 Game 1 win and in winning four in a row they have given up eight goals with four of them coming in one game.

In the Game 1 win Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock each tickled the twine and the team did not give up a goal until 19:06 into the third period. Both teams had 31 shots in the game and while New York got the win they were 0/3 on the power play.

Semyon Varlamov (19-11-4 2.04 GAA) stopped 30 of 31 shots and has a GAA of 2.34 in the playoffs. He has given up two goals or less in three of his last four starts and has been in between the pipes for the last six games. With his solid play as of late I would think he would get the call in Game 2 but if he does not Ilya Sorokin (13-6-3 2.17 GAA), who has given up seven goals in his last two playoff starts will get the call.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau leads New York with 13 points (3 goals 10 assists) in the playoffs and he has a goal and three assists over his last four games. Mathew Barzal has four goals in the playoffs and he has scored all of them over the last five games.

On the season the Islanders only ranked 21st in the league in goals per game (2.71) but rank second in the playoffs averaging 3.46 goals per game.

Not So Much of an Attack

In the 2-1 loss in Game 1 the Lighting attack was stymied and their lone goal came with less than a minute left in the third period. Brayden Point scored the goal and Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov assisted.

Andrei Vasilevskiy (31-10-1 2.21 GAA regular season) gave up two goals on 31 shots, had a shutout in his previous start, and in the playoffs has a GAA of 2.23. I would think he would get the call, as he has started every game in the post-season.

Kucherov leads all players in the post-season with 19 points (5 goals 14 assists) and has two goals and five assists over his last four games. Point leads all players in the playoffs with nine goals and he has lit the lamp once in each of his last four games.

The Lightning are 61-16 in their last 77 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.

Prediction 

The Islanders are 4-0 in their last four playoff games as an underdog and 4-1 in their last five playoff games as an underdog. I think those trends will continue and they have great value in this game as a road dog. Their defense stepped up in their last game and on the other side of the coin the Tampa Bay attack has struggled in the last two games only scoring three goals. I see a low scoring Game 2 and like Game 1 the Islanders will get the win and take a 2-0 series lead heading back to the Big Apple.

PICK: Islanders +155