Game of the Year *NHL* - Rogers' Eastern Conference BEST BET
(NHL) Tampa Bay vs. NY Islanders, 12/20/2014 2:00 PM, Score: 1 - 3
Money Line: -130.00 NY Islanders (Home)
Result: Win
The Tampa Bay Lightning are closing out a five game road trip at Long Island with a game against the New York Islanders tonight. They've not had much success in the previous four, dropping three of the games defeating only the lowly Flyers. The hosts have been looking for the form that saw them steam-roll through November and they might just have found it coming off three straight wins. The two teams have split two meetings so far this season with the home team winning 5-2 both times. I'm expecting a similar scoreline tonight.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Goaltending Issues - Ben Bishop has missed the last two contests with a lower-body injury and with Evgeni Nabokov starting in last night's 3-2 OT loss at New Jersey the visitors might have to turn to rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy tonight. His first and so far only career start was at Philadelphia Tuesday were he stopped 23 of 24 shots. The Islanders offense that averages 2.97 goals per game is on a whole other level than the lowly Flyers though, and I'm not quite sure he's ready for the challenge.

2. Home Cookin' - The Islanders are certainly making the most of their last season at Nassau Coliseum winning 12 of their 15 games there. They've won nine of their last 10 and the Lightning have not fared well in New York over recent meetings, leaving with two points only once over the last seven visits.

3. X-Factor - John Tavares will be looking to end a two game point drought. He must like his chances tallying 14 points over 10 career match-ups against the Lightning.

Selection: This is a play on the New York Islanders (10*)