2021-03-07
Tampa Bay Lightning
Chicago Blackhawks
League : NHL

Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning Prediction & Preview



 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports 

The Islanders took care of the Sabres once again on Saturday afternoon with a 5-2 victory and the fifth win of the season against the Sabres. The Islanders hope they can sweep the Sabres with a win on Sunday afternoon and continue their impressive run atop the East Division. The Sabres are just hoping to get off the ground and not only beat the Islanders for the first time this season, but stop the skid in the East Division that has them in the last place. 

Sabres continue to struggle against the Islanders

The Buffalo Sabres have lost all five games they have played against the Islanders this season and have lost the last two games both by a score of 5-2 as part of a 5 game losing streak. The Sabres have been especially awful in the net in the past two games with both Carter Hutton and Jonas Johansson starting both games and allowing five goals each. Aside from the pairing of Jake McCabe and Rasmus Ristolainen, who have combined for 2 defensive point shares this season, the defense has struggled and not given any goaltender much support.

 

While the defense has played poorly in the last two games, the offense has struggled all season, scoring 2.1 goals per game. Aside from Sam Reinhart and Victor Olafson, who have 8 and 7 goals respectively, many of the key contributors have struggled this season. Jack Eichel was poised to take a big leap this year but only has 2 goals while Taylor Hall, a former Hart Trophy winner, has only 2 goals on the season as well. If the offense doesn't turn a corner soon, the Sabres can potentially start trading away some of their valuable players.

 

Islanders win fourth straight game

The Islanders have been rolling in the recent weeks, winning 4 games in a row and 6 of the last 7 games to put them in first place in the East Division with 14 wins in their 24 games this season. The Islanders have played well in all facets of the game but the recent victories have been won with their offense taking flight. Mat Barzal, who has 9 goals on the season, scored a highlight goal in a recent win while Anders Lee scored his team-leading 11th goal in the recent 5-2 win. 5 of the Islanders forwards have 7 goals or more with the offense scoring 10 goals in the last 2 games.

 

While the offense is piling on the goals in the recent games, the defense has gotten the job done all season, allowing only 2.2 goals per game. The pairing of Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock is arguably one of the best in the game, combining for 3.6 defensive point shares and 74 blocked shots while the pairing of Noah Dobson and Andy Greene has 3.2 defensive point shares. The pairing of Scott Mayfield and Nick Leddy might not be as potent on the defensive end but have contributed to a combined 20 points on the offensive end. In addition, the goaltending duo of Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin has been exceptional this year, combining to only allow 2.1 goals per game.






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