NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 9/17/20

Jordan Eberle has a tendency to come up big in crunch time. Can he help the Islanders force a Game 7?

The New York Islanders were lifted to victory thanks to Jordan Eberle's double overtime game-winner on Tuesday night. With a berth in the Stanley Cup Final on the line, expect some more fireworks in Game 6.

Here's what we're looking at tonight!

New York Islanders vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Over 5.5 (+135): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Islanders +1.5 (-200): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The New York Islanders have last change in Game 6, which is a distinction that has served them quite well these playoffs. New York has gone 6-3 and have outpaced their opponents in expected goals for in seven of nine games as the "home" team.

New York has also put up some pretty gaudy offensive numbers over their last three "home" games. The Islanders are averaging 38.7 shots, 37.7 scoring chances, and 16.7 high-danger chances per 60 minutes since concluding their series against the Philadelphia Flyers. As expected, two of those three games have gone over the total.

Also benefiting the Islanders is the fact that the Tampa Bay Lightning have lacked that killer instinct in crunch time this postseason, which was once again evident on Tuesday night. Tampa has been in three elimination games so far this postseason, with each one requiring overtime. Although they were victorious in their first two games, the advanced metrics suggest that they were lucky to win both those contests. More concerning is the fact that they failed to come away victorious when they did control the pace of the game against the Islanders in Game 5.

Tampa should benefit from some increased offensive output. So far this series, they are averaging 14.7 high-danger scoring chances per game, compare that to the 12.9 average they've established this postseason, and you'd expect an increase in scoring. However, since Tampa's 8-2 thrashing of the Islanders in Game 1, the Bolts' high-danger shooting percentage has dropped to 14.7%, which is a steep departure from their 22.2% playoff average. Output is contraindicated with production, which suggests that progression is on the horizon.

Considering the Islanders' recent uptick in production as the home team and the Lightning's inability to put their opponents away in elimination games, tonight's contest might be closer than Lightning fans are hoping for. Metrics also suggest that Game 6 should be of the higher-scoring variety. This aligns with our projections, which rate the over 5.5 and Islanders +1.5 as one-star plays.