New York needs infusion of energy
After an ugly start to the month of November, Tampa Bay has seemingly stabilized matters over the past week. Yet coach Jon Cooper clearly expects more from a team with Stanley Cup aspirations.
Perhaps the Lightning (8-6-1) can find that extra gear against the scuffling Islanders. Tonight, the two Eastern Conference foes drop the puck at Barclays Center. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the visitors odds of -130 to come out on top. New York, on the other hand, represents a +110 underdog.
Several months removed from pushing Pittsburgh to the limit in the Eastern Conference finals, Tampa Bay’s meandering a bit. San Jose handed Steven Stamkos & Co. a 3-1 loss on Saturday. Still, the club remains just two points behind third-place Ottawa in the Atlantic Division.
The Isles (5-7-3) are in decidedly worse shape. Having dropped seven of 10, they’re only one point ahead of Carolina for last place in the East. Even captain John Tavares continues to produce at a substandard clip. The two-time All-Star is on pace for a mere 27 goals.
Ben Bishop won’t sympathize with the hosts, either. The Lightning’s No. 1 netminder holds a 6-4-1 career record vs. Jack Capuano’s bunch. Look for that winning percentage to rise further by the end of the evening.
MONDAY NHL FREE PICK: LIGHTNING/ISLANDERS UNDER 5.5 GOALS