- The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the New York Islanders 3-2 in the Eastern Conference final
- Jordan Eberle scored the overtime winner at 12:30 of the second overtime to force Game 6 on Thursday night (8:00 pm ET)
- Two factors will decide whether the Lightning earn a spot in the Stanley Cup final in two days’ time
The New York Islanders live to fight another day.
That day will be Thursday night when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the Eastern Conference final (8:00 pm ET, Sep. 17th).
Islanders vs Lightning Game 6 Odds
|Team||Puck Line||Over/Under||Moneyline at DraftKings|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1.5 (+170)||O 5 (-137)||-155|
|New York Islanders||+1.5 (-210)||U 5 (+114)||+132|
Odds as of Sep. 16th
The Lightning were big favorites in the Game 5 odds. While their Game 6 moneyline of -155 is still on the high side, it’s offering a lot more value than it was three regulation periods and an overtime and a half ago. Siding with Tampa Bay to close the series is the wise bet for two key reasons.
We just hope both teams are having fun 😁
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) September 16, 2020
Lack of Offensive Chances Will Hurt Islanders
The reality is this series should be over by now. New York won this game despite a startling lack of production on the offensive end of the ice. Jordan Eberle scored the overtime winner on the Islanders 24th shot of the game 92 minutes and 30 seconds in. That is an incredibly inefficient brand of hockey. The game-winner came on New York’s eighth shot in over 32 minutes of overtime action.
— NHL (@NHL) September 16, 2020
The strategy worked but will it again in Game 6? The Islanders aren’t the first team to try to clog up the neutral zone and beat the Lightning with a boring brand of hockey. The Columbus Blue Jackets did it in the first round and were promptly sent packing.
With their roster constructed the way it is, the Islanders don’t really have another choice. When they go back to the well again in Game 6, the outcome will likely be much different.
Brayden Point Is the Series MVP
It’s tough to argue with calling Brayden Point the series’ Most Valuable Player. He’s dressed in three games, all wins by the Lightning. The two games he didn’t take the ice were both wins by the Islanders.
Tampa Bay was still able to produce 37 shots on goal in Game 5, but the offense was simply more tame without him on the ice. Nikita Kucherov doesn’t have the same chemistry with the replacements and it shows.
#tblightning Jon Cooper, asked if Brayden Point was close to playing or if he’d be available for Game 6: “It’s too hard to tell right now. Tough question to answer. Got to wait.”
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) September 16, 2020
The good news? Point could return for Game 6. Head coach Jon Cooper has never been shy in providing the media with detailed information. He announced Steven Stamkos wouldn’t play in the Eastern Conference final prior to Game 1. That was news he could have kept to himself, leaving the Islanders and the hockey world guessing. Instead he told the truth and moved on.
With that in mind, he explained the team was simply managing Point’s injury at this point. With the coach not ruling him out and the Lightning aiming to avoid a winner-take-all Game 7, expect Point to be in the lineup on Thursday night.
Moneyline Providing Value In Game 6
Tampa Bay has been the much better team in the series. They were the better team in Game 5 and missed a chance to book a spot in the final. With one day to rest and reset, they will enter Game 6 focused and set to join the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup final.
The Puck Line is tempting but, given New York’s usual brand of hockey, the best bet is to pay the price and take Tampa Bay on the moneyline at -155.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning moneyline (-155)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.