There is no argument that the teams that end up making the Stanley Cup playoffs, as making it into the final 8 in each conference is no easy feat over the course of an 82-game schedule. That said, there are some who are perceived to have an easier path than others simply because they play in a division that is a little weaker than the rest. There can be no denying that the Tampa Bay Lightning are making things look easy, but they are doing so by not only dominating the Atlantic Division but also by beating just about everyone that they face.
It’s a little bit of a different story in the Metropolitan Division, which is being led by the New York Islanders, a team with far and away the lowest total points of any division leader. The Islanders will get a better idea of where they really stand in the Eastern Conference when they welcome in the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night. The Lightning is favored by 1 ½, with the goal total for this one set at 6 ½.
Lightning vs Islanders NHL Week 18 Odds & Game Info
“Teams are really fighting for points, all teams are fighting for points. It tightens up. Teams play tougher D. It’s harder to get chances. When we get those chances, we’ve got to really bear down and make them count.”#TBLvsPIT | Brayden Point: pic.twitter.com/l11Om6hedP— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) 31 de enero de 2019
- When: Friday, February 1 at 7 PM EST
- Where: Barclays Center, New York City
- TV: ESPN+
- Radio: TuneIn/NHL
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- NHL Odds: Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (Total 6.5)
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning?
With 76 points from 50 games, the Tampa Bay Lightning are in possession of the best record in the league. That said, they have made a bit of a sluggish start after returning from the All-Star Break, dropping their first game back, 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
That is sure to be just a minor blip on the radar, though, as this looks like the team to beat this season. They are, at this point, the only team to have crossed the 200-goal mark, which is an astonishing achievement after just 50 games. They have been outstanding on the road, posting a 17-6-2 record. Overall, they are 24-5 versus Eastern Conference foes, which includes being 12-2 versus teams from the Metropolitan Division. One of those losses, though, did come against the Islanders.
- Goals: 4.02
- Shots: 32.84
- PP/PK Percentage: 29.94
- Goals: 2.88
- Shots: 32.18
- PP/PK Percentage: 16.15
Why bet on the New York Islanders?
For a while, it looked as though the Washington Capitals were once again going to top the division, but with the Stanley Cup champions in the midst of an epic skid, the Islanders have come out of nowhere to take the top spot. It’s a tight race in the Metropolitan, though, with just 4 points separating the Islanders at the top from the Columbus Blue Jackets down in the #4 spot.
A poor run of form in this division can mean quickly dropping all the way down to the Wild Card and potentially below the playoff line. The good news for the Islanders is that they are on a solid run of form, going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. They have the best defense in the league, giving up just 2.41 GPG, which they are going to need to get past the high-scoring Lightning.
- Goals: 3.00
- Shots: 28.18
- PP/PK Percentage: 16.67
- Goals: 2.49
- Shots: 30.45
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.99
Lightning vs Islanders NHL Week 18 Betting Trends
- Tampa Bay is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games when playing NY Islanders
- Tampa Bay is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games
- NY is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
- NY is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of NY Islanders’s last 5 games
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction for Lightning vs Islanders
It is the offenses that seem to come to life when these two go head to head, so expect to see some goals here. The Lightning has won 3 of the last 4 meetings versus the Islanders and I like them to get another victory here, although just by the single goal.
Score: Tampa Bay Lightning 5 – New York Islanders 4