The Tampa Bay Lightning attempt to send the New York Islanders home in Game 5 of the National Hockey League Eastern Conference Finals. Tampa Bay has built a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven game series.
The Lightning downed the Islanders in Game 4 on Sunday, 4-1 to push New York to the brink of elimination. Puck drop is at 8 p.m. EST inside Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. The Lightning are the -165 Moneyline favorite to win the game and advance to the finals and +150 on the puck line.
What to Know – New York Islanders
The Islanders were beaten in the first two games of the series before coming out victorious in Game 3, 5-3. New York got to this point with series victories over the Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers.
Left-wing Anthony Beauvillier has scored nine goals in the postseason, but he has found the net just once this round. Centers Brock Nelson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau have scored eight goals, with Nelson netting two this series, including the only goal for the Islanders in Game 4.
Semyon Varlamov likely gets another start for New York, averaging 2.33 goals allowed in the postseason. In this series, Varlamov has had an uptick in goals allowed with a 3.5 average over four games.
What to Know – Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay wasted no time in Game 4 once they fell behind 1-0 midway through the second period. The Lightning scored two goals in 12 seconds, with the first coming just 15 seconds after the Islanders’ goal. The Lightning are one win away from a trip to the Stanley Cup finals and have gotten here with series wins over Columbus Blue Jackets and the Boston Bruins.
Brayden Point missed Game 3, and it proved to be the only loss for the Lightning of the series. The center returned to action in Game 4 and was one of four Tampa Bay players to find the back of the net. Alex Killorn returned from a one-game suspension and added depth at the forward position for Tampa Bay.
Andrei Vasilevskiy returns between the post for the Lightning. Vasilevskiy has performed well this series, allowing two or fewer goals in three of the four contests. For the postseason the goaltender is sporting a .930 (495-for-532) save percentage.
The Pick is In
Tampa Bay has their sights set on advancing to the finals and not dragging this series out any longer. For the Islanders, it is a win-or-go-home scenario. New York has not trailed in a series at all this postseason, so this elimination game is uncharted territory. If the Islanders get down late expect New York to pull their goalie and be aggressive, resulting in additional easy scoring opportunities for the Lightning. Grab Tampa Bay on the puck line with plus money or take the money line if you’d like to be conservative.