The Tampa Bay lightning and New York Islanders get set to play in what is a pivotal Game Three for the Islanders. Tampa Bay has established their dominance in this series, and they don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
For Tampa Bay, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman have been getting the job done in this series. They are known as potent scorers, and they have been living up to their billing. I would look for them to play a big role in Game Three. They certainly left their mark on Game Two, and I would not expect them to suffer any dip in production.
For the Islanders, they need their stars to get going, or it could be another long night. Matt Barzal and Jordan Eberle would be two players that the Islanders could use contributions from. Barzal only has a point in the series, and New York will need him to be playing at a higher level if they want to succeed.
For his part, Eberle has a goal and an assist in the series. He did have a point as recently as Monday night, as a power play goal would be one of the only tallies in the Islanders’ 8-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
To their credit, the New York Islanders played a hard-fought hockey game. Nevertheless, Tampa Bay was able to get the best of them. The Islanders actually jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Matt Martin at 1:24 in the first period
Strong goaltending helped New York the entire period. Nevertheless, Tampa Bay was able to strike back at the tail end. Victor Hedman scored a tally at the 18:24 mark with the assist going to Barclay Goodrow.
After a stalemate in the second period, the Islanders had to have felt good about themselves heading into the third frame. Back and forth the game went, and a dramatic finish was in sight. With seven seconds left in the third, Ryan McDonough delivered a perfect pass from the left boards in the corner straight to a waiting Kucherov. He immediately pocketed the goal home and he sent the Tampa Bay Lightning home happy.
With the way this series is trending, I would feel comfortable taking the lightning at 1.62. Although Wednesday’s game was hard-fought, the Lightning have been in control of this series from the get-go. They just have too much firepower for the Islanders to keep up.
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