Isles survive (point-less) Lightning and force Game 6 with OT win
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Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves before a Jordan Eberle goal ended the game midway through the second overtime period and for the first time in these playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning will have to play in a Game 6. The New York Islanders staved off elimination despite being badly outplayed for the majority of the game, specifically in the overtime periods. According to Evolving Hockey, Varlamov saved 2.89 goals above expected, his best performance of the playoffs and he would’ve seen even more rubber had the skaters in front of him not blocked almost 30 shots.
Things may have been different had the Lightning elected to play forward Brayden Point, who surprised the hockey world and the betting market when he did not take the ice for warmups. Point had returned to the lineup in Game 4 after missing one game with an injury and collected a goals and assist in the win. The Islanders price went from plus-150 to plus-135 after the market learned that Point would miss the game. With that being said, the Islanders really had no business winning that game.
It would seem likely that Point will play in Game 6 on Thursday, but of course, nothing is guaranteed. The general consensus seems to be that he was given the night off to deal with a nagging injury. I personally subscribe to that theory. The odds should shift slightly towards the Islanders, who will be designated as the home team, but the Lightning should be priced around -160. With two chances to end the series, the Lightning should do so about 85 percent (-570) of the time.
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