Game Preview: NY Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

106. 23. Islanders +130 | Lightning -150. 39-28-9. 04/01/2023. 44-26-6. 7:00 PM. MSGSN | MSG GO | ESPN+

The NY Islanders continue to inch closer to reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs once again but there is still plenty of work to do as they travel down south for a date with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.

Last Game

Fresh off a dominant 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Monday, the Islanders got right back to work against another Metro Division foe in the Capitals on Wednesday. Pierre Engvall broke the ice early in the second with his 17th goal of the season, 5th in the blue and orange. It didn't take long for Washington to get it back as Conor Sheary beat Ilya Sorokin to tie the game at 1-1. The score would stay that way until the shootout, a place the Isles had struggled in all season long. After going winless in their first five tries in the skills competition, New York finally broke through with shootout goals from Bo Horvat and Kyle Palmieri to finally get them over the hump.

Interestingly enough, the Lightning's most recent contest this week was also against the Capitals. Tampa Bay was the beneficiary of getting Washington on the second half of a back-to-back and they did not waste the opportunity to pounce on a tired team. It was a fast start for the Bolts as Alex Killorn and Steven Stamkos each netted a first-period goal. The Lightning never looked back from there, scoring three more times, while getting 30 saves from Andrei Vasilevskiy in a 5-1 victory.

Historical Matchup

This will be the second of three meetings this season between the Islanders and Lightning as they will meet again next week at UBS Arena. The first meeting came way back in October, a game that saw Tampa Bay walk away with a 5-3 win.

We all know that these two teams have postseason history over the last half decade. All-time, they have met four times in the playoffs. The Lightning have won the series all four times.

Players to Watch

With Mathew Barzal possibly nearing a return as the regular season nears its end, now seems like the perfect time for Horvat to get hot. When the All-Star center was acquired, he was brought to Long Island to give Barzal an elite linemate. Well, since the Barzal injury, Horvat has been looked at as the guy to fill his shoes and he hasn't necessarily done that. With just six games to go, the Isles are going to need Horvat to be at his best in the month of April if they plan to not only make the playoffs but also make some noise once there.

As for someone who already is currently hot, how about Stamkos? The Lightning captain has five points in his last two games and loves playing against the Isles. In 41 regular season games against New York, the 33-year-old has 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists). The Islanders' defense has seen plenty of the Lightning over the years and will understand that stopping Stamkos from having any offensive production can go a long way toward leading them to victory.

Projected Lines


Zach Parise-Bo Horvat-Hudson Fasching
Pierre Engvall-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Anders Lee-JG Pageau-Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech-Scott Mayfield
Alexander Romanov-Ryan Pulock
Samuel Boluc-Noah Dobson

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov


Steven Stamkos-Brayden Point-Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel-Nick Paul-Ross Colton
Pat Maroon-Anthony Cirelli-Alex Killorn
Tanner Jeannot-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Corey Perry

Victor Hedman-Nicklaus Perbix
Mikhail Sergachev-Darren Raddysh
Ian Cole-Erik Cernak

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Brian Elliott

Lineups via DailyFaceoff