Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
Where to watch: Bally Sports Sun, MSG+, ESPN+
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Lightning -138, Islanders +115
BetMGM: Lightning -139, Islanders +115
Caesars: Lightning -135, Islanders +115
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Islanders - Lightning preview and analysis
Islanders: lost three of five; lost 4-0 at Devils on Thursday
Lightning: won 3-2 (OT) vs. Panthers on Saturday
The light is at the end of the tunnel for the New York Islanders.
In a matter of days, the Islanders will finally play their home opener in UBS Arena and all will be right in the world for the Isles.
But there’s one more road trip left to be had, and it starts Monday where the Islanders will return to the scene of the crime to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in a rematch of last season’s Stanley Cup Semifinals matchup that the two-time defending Stanley Cup champs won in seven games.
There’s been a lot of discussion of teams that have been able to surprise a lot of folks; the Vegas Golden Knights and their injuries come to mind, the Edmonton Oilers winning games with surprising goaltending at the right time.
The Islanders deserve to be in that conversation. The fact that they’ve split their first 10 games, all on the road while waiting for their arena to finish construction, is incredible. The Islanders had to have two road trips staggered just to get a break in the schedule.
New York is coming off a 4-0 loss Thursday against the New Jersey Devils. Outside of being shutout by Mackenzie Blackwood, the Islanders ran into the trap of failing to score when needed. The Islanders had 42 shots, but the New Jersey goalie had no issues.
"There were a couple of times we were a half-step late and they were a half-step early," New York captain Anders Lee said. "Their goaltender had a great game. We know we can be better. It's picking each other up and finding a way in these tight games."
There’s some flack given to the Islanders that really shouldn’t be directed their way. New York has hit every part of the United States and are sitting at, essentially, .500 with two more games in this road trip.
Awaiting them in Tampa is a rematch of last year’s stellar seven-game series that went all the way down to the wire. The Lightning won 1-0 and ended up reaching the Stanley Cup Final, where the Bolts won their second straight championship.
The Lightning are coming off a thrilling 3-2 win in overtime against the Florida Panthers to push their point streak to seven games (5-0-2) thanks to Brayden Point’s game-winner at 2:13 of the extra frame.
"We're managing the puck a lot better," Point said. "Not as many turnovers. Not as many odd-man rushes against. And then just competing."
It’s been a bit of a struggle for the Lightning to get going, as expected. When you play a ton of playoff games over the past two seasons, one of them in a bubble, you tend to get tired. We’ll remember this when the Lightning are making another deep run in June.
The Islanders had an extra day off to get ready for this and I have a sense they’ll play much better in what could be considered a revenge game. Ilya Sorokin likely starts in net and bounces back after that rough go in New Jersey. Islanders win 3-2
The Islanders are 14-12 ATS the past three seasons following a road loss by three goals or more.
The Islanders have won three straight following a two-gam run of losing by at least three.
The Lightning are 6-10 ATS in their last 16 following a home win by one goal.
Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey
Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Kyle Palmieri
Zach Parise -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech -- Scott Mayfield
Zdeno Chara -- Ryan Pulock
Andy Greene -- Noah Dobson
Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Anthony Cirelli
Alex Killorn -- Steven Stamkos -- Mathieu Joseph
Pat Maroon -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Corey Perry
Taylor Raddysh -- Ross Colton -- Alex Barre-Boulet
Victor Hedman -- Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh -- Zach Bogosian
Mikhail Sergachev -- Cal Foote
Lightning: Nikita Kucherov (lower body), Gemel Smith (lower body), Erik Cernak (upper body)
Points: Brock Nelson -- 9
Goals: Brock Nelson -- 7
Assists: Josh Bailey -- 5
TOI: Ryan Pulock -- 21:30
Goalie: Ilya Sorokin -- 5-3-2, 2.18 GAA, .933 SV%
Points: Steven Stamkos -- 15
Goals: Steven Stamkos -- 7
Assists: Victor Hedman -- 9
TOI: Victor Hedman -- 25:54
Goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy -- 6-2-3, 2.31 GAA, .921 SV%
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