NHL playoff picks: Can lightning strike twice for the Isles?
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All good things must come to an end. The Tampa Bay Lightning couldn't close it out for us, dropping our Round 3 record to 7-2.

But, at least we have more hockey now.

Tampa Bay Lightning (-150) @ New York Islanders (+130)

Our Lightning bet was hurt by Brayden Point being a surprise scratch for Game 5. The Conn Smythe favorite sat out the contest as the team tries to manage his injury, according to Joe Smith of The Athletic. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said "it's too hard to tell right now" whether Point will be available in Game 6, so it's something to keep an eye on. For my money, though, I expect him to play.

Even without Point, Tampa Bay was comfortably in control of Game 5. The Lightning were expected to score 3.34 goals to just 1.88 for the Islanders - a 64% share - and the discrepancy was even bigger in regulation, with the Lightning controlling 68.1% of the expected goal share. Tampa Bay also created 14 high-danger scoring chances to just seven for New York.

The Lightning completely suffocated the Isles' offense and generated a total of 7.1 expected goals for during the last two games. The Islanders have managed just 4.1 expected goals in that time. Expect Tampa Bay to play with plenty of urgency with the threat of Game 7 looming. The Lightning will put in a complete performance to halt New York's comeback and punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.

Pick: Lightning (-150)

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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NHL playoff picks: Can lightning strike twice for the Isles?
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