Game 7: Lightning vs. Islanders NHL Betting Preview (June 26, 2021)
Whether it’s basketball or hockey, the adage is that it is Game 7, so both teams will slow the game down.
Why do we think that way? As if it’s a universal strategy to play conservatively, milk the clock, and shrink the game. That’s like the FBI using the vanilla, run-of-the-mill playbook in Die Hard, cutting the power to the Nakatomi Tower. If not for that Irish flatfoot on the 32nd floor, Hans Gruber would’ve won on that move.
This game is not going to be played conservatively. The Tampa Bay Lightning are a furious, punch-you-in-the-mouth home team that has scored 36 combined goals in eight playoff games at Amalie Arena. The Islanders added 23 goals in 9 road playoff games (let’s forget about that 8-0 shutout in game 5, shall we)?
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Even in Game 3, the Lightning pushed the hell out of the puck in the offensive zone to start that game, leaving ample amounts of opportunities to tickle the twine out on the ice. Semyon Varlamov had a lot of luck in Game 3. It disappeared in Game 5 when he got the hook after giving away three goals on 16 shots in the game’s early minutes.
Andrei Vasilevskiy reaped the benefits of that giant lead in Game 5, and, let’s be quite blunt, he was rather pedestrian in Game 6, allowing three goals on 28 shots.
As it goes with the Over, you could have dozens of odd-man rushes and zone-flying theatrics, but if you’re not banging the back of the net, it’s just not your night.
This will be an Over backers’ night.
Lighting vs. Islanders NHL Betting Pick (June 26, 2021)
OVER 5.5 goals (+136 at FanDuel)
1st period OVER 1.5 goals (+110 at DraftKings)
One more NHL Bet we like:
Mathew Barzal to score a goal (+270 at FanDuel)
One of the quickest men on the ice tonight will reap the benefits of a fast-paced game. Six goals and 14 points in this postseason, Barzal has missed the goal party in the last two games, but he’s constantly been a monkey in the wrench to the Lightning’s defense, corralling two assists in game six two days ago.
I’d expect Barzal to have a bevy of opportunities to punch the net tonight, in what I am continuously preaching as seeing a fast-paced, up-tempo hockey game.
Islanders vs. Lightning Prediction
I’m not much for taking sides in Game 7 matchups; it’s one the most terrifying NHL bet, especially when it goes to overtime.
We’re a long way from Long Island, and as it’s been established in this article, the Tampa Bay Lightning are an offensive force when they’re pushing puck in the sunshine state. If any team is going to be comfortable tonight, it will be the Lightning, though Barry Trotz preaches a relentless, never-give-up mentality. It flows through this Islanders team like a relentless river flowing with tossed-away bad beat tickets.
Let’s just be arrogant about this total and know that we’ll have a cigar game when Barzal punches in two goals, to answer a barrage of offense propelled by Anthony Cirelli and Brayden Point, and count our money while enjoying overtime.
We’ll call it a 4-4 finish if you catch my drift. Take the over and root for a helluva hockey game. You’ll breathe easier.
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