- The New York Islanders have tied their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning at 2-2.
- The Islanders are +165 underdogs in Game 5, and +170 underdogs in the series.
- A Game 5 win could flip the script on the series - and the NHL playoffs.
TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Lightning are set to host Game 5 against the New York Islanders in the NHL playoffs.
This is a matchup that happened in 2020 in the Eastern Conference Finals, and history might be repeating itself - although Islanders fans surely hope that it won’t.
The series had much the same connotations in 2020 as it does now in 2021 - the uber-talented Tampa Bay taking on a team that works hard and tries to match talent with grit.
In 2020, the series was 3-1 at this point in favor of Tampa Bay, and New York pushed the series another game by winning Game 5 before Tampa Bay shut them down in Game 6.
Now, New York has a chance to avoid that 3-2 fate by winning this game, although the online sportsbooks are bullish on Tampa Bay.
New York Islanders vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5 Odds
- New York Islanders +165
- Tampa Bay Lightning -190
The plain fact that the Lightning are more talented than the Islanders is the most obvious observation one can make about this series.
What is at issue is that the Islanders simply do not make mistakes - they play suffocating defense, capitalize on the power play, and only need a few chances to make teams pay.
The Islanders have overperformed consistently, to the point that one wonders if this is even overperformance anymore, or if the statistical models are just missing something.
They’ve managed to come this far on the talent they have, and a win in Game 5 could move the lines to the point that the Islanders are favored in the series.
It’d be a big change, were it to happen.
New York Islanders vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Series Odds
- New York Islanders +170
- Tampa Bay Lightning -200
The Lightning have been in the driver’s seat in this series before it even began, and they’ve never left it.
During the regular season, the Lightning were utterly dominant at home, and the Islanders were pretty mediocre on the road.
Only seven of their 17 regular season losses came at home, and in the playoffs so far, they’ve only dropped one home game.
The Islanders have proved themselves to be a different team in the playoffs, but the trends certainly point to a Tampa Bay victory.
Game 5 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders starts at 8 p.m. EST on Monday, and will be broadcast on NBCSN for online gambling fans to enjoy.