After losing the first two games of the series, the New York Islanders were able to come away with the victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.
Winning by a 5-3 margin, New York was able to get back on track. Goals from Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Mikal Sergachev have paced the Lightning. For
New York, it was a scoring barrage. Anthony Beauviller, Cal Clutterbuck, Brock Nelson, Jean Gabriel-Pageau, and Adam Pelech all scored for the Islanders.
Now, the series shifts to Game 4.
For Tampa Bay, they need to get their playmakers going. Throughout these playoffs, Brayden Point leads the team with 23 points, and eight goals. Nikita
Kucherov has 17 assists. I would look for them to get going as game for progresses.
For the Islanders, I would look for Nelson and Beauviller to continue to play at a high level. In these playoffs, Beauviller leads the team in goals with nine. Let’s not forget about Josh Bailey, as he leads the team with 19 points. Nelson is second for the Islanders in the playoffs with 17 points.
New York is going to need their top point-producers to make things happen on Sunday. For the Islanders, Semyon Varlamov figures to be in net for the Islanders. He played decently against Tampa Bay on Friday, allowing three goals on 37 shots. Tampa Bay can make any goaltender look foolish, and he has struggled in these past couple of games.
Tampa Bay will continue to go with the steady net minding of Andre Vasilevskiy who has been great in the series. He has allowed only 10 goals in his last five games, including only one against New York on Wednesday. Now, he will look to continue playing at a high level.
As New York looks to even the series, and as Tampa Bay looks to gain a strangle-hold on it, this should be in intriguing matchup. On one hand, you have a team with tremendous potency on offense and solid goaltending. On the other hand, you have a scrappy team in New York who may not be as potent on offense, but who can get the job done.
For this game, I would feel comfortable taking Tampa Bay on the puck line at 2.77. I can’t see Tampa Bay losing two games in a row, and even in the loss on Friday, they still scored three goals.
New York has proven to to be potent in their own right, but Tampa Bay has just too much firepower for New York to win back-to-back games.
-- written by Danny the Geek