The 2021 NHL Playoffs have moved into the final four. The Stanley Cup Semifinals have arrived and for this season that is in place of the traditional “Conference Finals.” The one-year COVID-19 realignment instituted reseeding of the four semifinalists, regardless of traditional conference. The No. 1 seed Vegas Golden Knights will face the No. 4 seed Montreal Canadiens and the No. 2 seed Tampa Bay Lightning will face the No. 3 seed New York Islanders.
The Lightning and Islanders face off in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. Tampa won that series in six en route to a Stanley Cup Finals victory over the Dallas Stars for the franchise’s second championship. This is the Lightning’s seventh trip to the conference finals. It marks the Islanders’ ninth trip to the semifinal round but their first since the 1992-93 season.
The realignment this season provided for only divisional play, so this is the first time this season the Islanders and Lightning will face off. The Lightning finished the regular season in third place in the Central division, with a record of 36-17-3 and 75 points. They beat the Florida Panthers in six games in the first round and the Carolina Hurricanes in five games in the second round.
The Islanders finished the regular season in fourth place in the East division, with a record of 32-17-7 and 71 points. They beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games in the first round and the Boston Bruins in six games in the second round.
The Lightning are -250 favorites to win the series at DraftKings Sportsbook while the Islanders are +205 underdogs. All four Lightning series win combinations top the odds sheet, with Tampa in five the favorite at +350. The best odds for an Islanders series win are +700 for New York in six.
Below is a full rundown of the Islanders-Lightning series and how to watch it. The games are all available at NBCSports.com/live. All times listed are ET.
Islanders vs. Lightning series info (Tied 3-3)
Game 1: Islanders 2, Lightning 1
Game 2: Lightning 4, Islanders 2
Game 3: Lightning 2, Islanders 1
Game 4: Islanders 3, Lightning 2
Game 5: Lightning 8, Islanders 0
Game 6: Islanders 3, Lightning 2 (OT)
Game 7: Islanders @ Lightning: Friday, June 25, 8 p.m., NBCSN