After falling down 1-0 in this best of 7 series, the Lightning have responded with two huge victories in Games 2 (4-2 final score) and 3 (2-1 final score).
Game 4 will be at the famous Nassau Collisseum and in front of the Islander faithful. They treated NHL fans to a great rendition of the National Anthem before Game 3.
Lightning vs Islanders Game 4 Preview
Tampa jumped out to an early lead in Game 3 after a Yanni Gourde tally. They would take a 1-0 lead into the second period. The Islanders would respond with a goal of their own late in the second period from Cal Clutterbuck.
However, Tampa would get one back right before the end of the period from playoff performer Brayden Point to take the lead once again into the third.
Point’s teammate Nikita Kucherov has tallied 23 points in the Lightning’s 14 playoff games, and 15 of them have come on the power play, including his assist on Point’s goal from Thursday Night.
Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Lightning would shut the door in the third period and would come out as the 2-1 victors.
The Islanders would like to see more production from their top lines coming into Game 4 at home. Mat Barzal recorded a goal in their first two games but failed to get on the scoresheet in Game 3.
Barzal is the leading scorer for the Islanders this postseason with 11 points in 15 games.
The Islanders have been inconsistent offensively in the playoffs, and much of that can be attributed to them being without the heart of their team and captain Anders Lee. He was ruled out for the season in March after suffering a torn ACL.
Coach of the Islanders, Barry Trotz, was beyond upset with the officiating in their Games 2 and 3 losses. The refs have had to make tough decisions on both sides in this series. They called a baffling goalie interference against Brayden Point in Game 2 of this series as well..
Speaking of Brayden Point, he is en Fuego. Point is on a 6 game goal streak in this postseason and has tallied 11 total goals in 14 games this playoff. If he can score again in Game 4 he would be tied for second with many others for longest playoff goal-scoring streaks.
Tampa Bay just seems too good in every facet of the game. They have the advantage 5 on 5. They are superior on the man advantage, and they have the better goaltending from Vasilevskiy.
After winning the Stanley Cup last year, they seem destined to repeat again as champions.
If New York wants any sort of chance, they need to get shots to the net 5 on 5 and they need to stay out of the box. Allowing Tampa to have multiple-man advantages has been digging a hole for the Islanders.
I don’t see any way out for the Islanders. The Lightning have simply been dominant since puck drop in Game 2. There hasn’t been a time where they haven’t been in control.
I see them maintaining that trend and taking a 3-1 lead back to Amalie Arena in Tampa with a chance to close out the series in Game 5.
Tampa Bay ML (-130) u5 goals (+130). Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.