The Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking to take a commanding lead in their semifinal playoff series with the New York Islanders when they return to action in Game 4 on Saturday night as -130 road favourites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Tampa Bay is coming off a narrow 2-1 victory in Game 3, lifting the defending Stanley Cup champions to a 2-1 series lead heading into Saturday night’s matchup at Nassau Coliseum.
Now poised to push the Islanders to the brink of elimination for a second straight year, the Lightning have also gained momentum on the NHL playoff series prices where they have vaulted to short -650 chalk. Tampa Bay has also returned to its spot atop the Stanley Cup odds as +125 favourites.
The Lightning can give much of the credit for their steady playoff performance to netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy. A finalist to take home Vezina Trophy honours for the second time in three years after leading the league during the regular season with 31 wins, Vasilevskiy has effectively shut down Islanders shooters so far in this series. The 26-year-old has surrendered just five total goals on 85 shots through the first three games of this series, and has amassed a .935 save percentage while going 10-4 in the postseason.
And with Vasilevskiy in championship form, bettors have enjoyed a steady run for the UNDER at online sports betting sites, which has paid out in eight of Tampa Bay’s past 10 contests.
Now desperate to avoid getting pushed to the brink of elimination, the Islanders return to action on Saturday night as +110 home underdogs. Despite their unenviable position as +425 underdogs on the series prices, it is still too early to count out New York as the Islanders overcame 2-1 series deficits in each of the first two rounds on their way to upset wins over the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins.
However, success against Tampa Bay has consistently eluded the team. In addition to being dominated in three previous playoff series clashes with the Lightning, including last season’s Eastern Conference Final, New York has failed to record consecutive wins in 25 overall meetings with Tampa Bay since the end of the 2015/16 NHL regular season and has posted just three wins in 12 home dates during that stretch.