NHL Playoff Betting Preview: New York Islanders vs. Tampa Bay Lightning – Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders are now ready to begin Game 6 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series. The game will start at 8:00PM ET inside the Toronto bubble and be televised on NBCSN for anyone that wants to tune in.

The Lightning weren’t able to cash in on their first opportunity to close out the series, losing Game 5 in double overtime. It was a thriller to say the least and it proved that the New York Islanders aren’t ready to pack their bags just yet.

They’ll have another opportunity to close out on Thursday, but they can’t expect it to be easy this time. They need to score the way they were earlier in the series and can’t give up those late opportunities like they did two nights ago. We’ll see which team wants it more tonight.

Can the Tampa Bay Lightning Finish the Series?

The Tampa Bay Lightning certainly had their opportunities throughout the two overtime periods that were played in Game 5. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to put it in the back of the net and it led to the Islanders taking advantage of their opportunity.

Some of those opportunities came from Nikita Kucherov, so expect him to come out in Game 6 with a chip on his shoulder. He’ll need some help, though, otherwise his efforts won’t be enough. They could also use some good goaltending, which they had for most of Game 5 — until that final score.

Will the New York Islanders Continue Their Comeback?

The New York Islanders have been a Cinderella team ever since the bubble began and they’re looking to continue that story against the Lightning on Thursday. They weren’t supposed to be here, but they’ve been proving everyone wrong thus far.

They’ll have another opportunity to deliver with their backs up against the wall, except they’ll have a bit more momentum heading into Game 6. They’ll want to come out shooting quick and shooting often to put the pressure on Tampa Bay early because you don’t want to give that team a chance to breathe.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders Betting Lines

Will we see the Islanders extend the series or the Lightning close the series? BetOnline has the Tampa Bay Lightning (-161) with the 1.5-goal advantage over the New York Islanders (+145). They also have the over/under listed at just 5 total goals.

What’s Our Pick?

This has been a fun series to watch. First we got to see the 8-2 showcase by the Lightning in Game 1, then a 5-3 Islanders win in Game 3, followed by a 4-1 Lightning victory in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead. The Islanders made it even more interesting in Game 5 by making it 3-2.

If they can repeat that again on Thursday night, they’ll force a Game 7 — one of the most beautiful things in hockey. To have it come in the Eastern Conference Finals for a chance at the NHL Finals just makes it that much sweeter.

Final Score 4-2, New York Islanders.

Spooky Express Free Pick: New York Islanders (+145)

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