Islanders vs. Lightning Game 1 Pick

Islanders vs. Lightning Game 1, 9/7/2020 Eastern Conference Predictions

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals is tonight between the Islanders and Lightning at 8:00 p.m. ET. With Tampa Bay listed as a sizable favorite and the over/under sitting at only 5 goals, what’s the best play for bettors in this Labor Day matchup?

Game Snapshot

033 New York Islanders (+130) vs. 034 Tampa Bay Lightning (-149); o/u 5

8:00 p.m. ET, Monday, September 7, 2020

NBCSN, Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta

New York Islanders DFS Spin

Thomas Greiss credited the Islanders defensive play for his 16 save shutout in Game 7 against Philadelphia Saturday. Greiss has been the backup goaltender for the Stanley Cup playoffs, behind Semyon Varlamov, but coach Barry Trotz chose to go with Greiss in Game 7 after a couple of shaky games from the Russian netminder. “I think it was the best defensive game I’ve ever seen the team play,” Greiss said. “It took most of the stuff away and I’m just happy we got the win.” Look for the Islanders to go with the hot hand and start Greiss in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final Monday against Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay Lightning DFS Spin

Nikita Kucherov will be available for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Islanders, per coach Jon Cooper. Kucherov was forced to leave Game 5 of Tampa Bay's series-clinching win over Boston after taking a high-stick to the face from Zdeno Chara. He was back on the ice for practice on Thursday and it certainly seemed like he was trending towards being ready to play in Monday's series opener. Those expectations were confirmed by the Lightning on Sunday.

Islanders vs. Lightning Game 1 Prediction

The Islanders are just 4-12 in their last 16 meetings with the Lightning and have dropped 12 of their last 16 games as an underdog. The Lightning, meanwhile, have won five of their last six playoff games when favored and are 101-47 in their last 148 games as a favorite overall. Tampa Bay has too much firepower, even without Steven Stamkos, who will not be available to play in the Eastern Conference Final and has missed the entire postseason due to a lower-body injury. If the Islanders fall behind, it’ll be difficult for them to play catch up and that’s exactly what I see happening in Game 1 tonight.

NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL GAME 1 PREDICTION: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING -149

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