Stanley Cup Semifinal Picks: Lightning vs. Islanders Series

  • BetOnline has updated Series Prices and Props for the Stanley Cup Semifinal series between the Lightning and Islanders
  • Tampa Bay is still a -125 favorite to advance to the Cup Final despite suffering a 2-1 loss to New York in Game 1 on Sunday
  • The Islanders are still available at near-even odds (+105) to avenge last season’s six-game series loss to the Lightning

The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning are facing off in the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second-consecutive season, but rather than being played in a desolate bubble in Edmonton, this year’s semifinals will take place in front of two of the rowdiest home crowds in the National Hockey League.

The Islanders struck first in Game 1 on Sunday, taking advantage of a few unforced errors to score a 2-1 road victory. Will the defending champions rebound on Tuesday night or is New York primed to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1984?

Let’s look at the updated series odds. You can also check out our NHL betting tips page for advice on how to wager on hockey.

Lightning vs Islanders Series Odds

Islanders To Win Series+105
Lightning To Win Series-125
Lightning 4-3+300
Lightning 4-2+375
Islanders 4-2+425
Islanders 4-3+600
Lightning 4-1+600
Islanders 4-1+700
Islanders 4-0+1100

Long Island no longer a long shot

Tampa Bay is still a -125 favorite to win the series despite dropping Game 1 to the Islanders (+105). The Lightning didn’t fall behind in their series wins over Florida and Carolina, but are no strangers to overcoming postseason adversity. Last season, Tampa lost Game 1 to the Boston Bruins in the second round and to the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Final.

They won the next four games against the Bruins to win the series. They won the next three games against the Stars before winning the Stanley Cup in Game 6. The task could prove more difficult against the underdog Islanders, however, who overcame long odds in their six-game series wins over Pittsburgh and Boston.

Against the Islanders in last year’s playoffs, Andrei Vasilevskiy went 4-2 with a 1.63 GAA and a .933SV%, but the Vezina Trophy candidate allowed a goal on a 48-foot, uncontested shot without traffic in front of him in Tampa’s Game 1 loss. In the other goal, Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves to outplay his countryman.

“We just made too many mistakes, the unforced errors,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. While the series is far from over, Tuesday night’s game is almost a must-win for Tampa Bay, who doesn’t want to be in a 2-0 series deficit heading to Nassau Coliseum.

Tampa Bay LightningTo Win Series
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New York IslandersTo Win Series
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Can the Islanders score the upset?

Crucial to New York’s Game 1 victory was limiting Tampa Bay to only two power play opportunities, as the Bolts lead the NHL this postseason with a 41.7% conversion rate on the man advantage. If the Isles can continue to stay out of the box and get outstanding goaltending from Varlamov, who is on a four-game winning streak, they can absolutely score the upset.

While the Lightning boast superior talent with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point among others, Long Island GM Lou Lamoriello has built a complete four-line team that doesn’t give up an inch on the ice.

Lou’s trade deadline acquisitions of JG Pageau and Kyle Palmieri over the past two seasons have also immediately paid off, giving Stanley Cup winning coach Barry Trotz even more weapons at his disposal.

Tampa Bay hasn’t faced anything like this cohesive Islanders club through the first two rounds of the playoffs and we expect New York to shock the defending the champions with a six-game series win. Bet it at BetOnline at +425.

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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on delicious eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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