New York Islanders (46-25-13) at Tampa Bay Lightning (53-24-6)

Monday, September 07, 2020 at 8:00 pm

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At 8:10 pm, our selection is on the Tampa Bay Lightning over the New York Islanders.  There's quite a contrast in the way these two teams got to this point.  The Lightning rolled past the over-matched Bruins in five games, winning four straight after losing the opener and out-scoring Boston 13-4 in the final three.  Meanwhile, the Islanders had a back-and-forth, seven-game nail-biting series with the Flyers, finally putting it all together in Game 7 with a no-doubt victory.  And while Tampa won't get the services of its leader, Steven Stamkos back for this series (so says the team currently), it will have Nikita Kucherov (high stick to the face) ready to go tonight and that's very good news.  But the man of the hour would seem to be Tampa's all-everything goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy.  There's little doubt now that the 26-year-old is the best netminder in the game, never mind the best left in the playoffs.  It's hard to imagine the Isles having much of an answer to him.  The Bolts are 10-2 in their last 12 games vs. teams from the Metropolitan division, and Tampa's also 13-2 this season (and 35-14 their last 49) when they've won their four previous games.  Take Tampa Bay.  As always, good luck...Al McMordie

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Al’s Pick Tampa Bay Lightning: -145

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