Tampa Bay only needed five games to beat the Blue Jackets and five games to knock off the Bruins. They have had a long layover heading into the conference finals and it will be interesting to see whether that rest will have any effect on the team moving forward.
Tampa Bay made the conference finals in 2018 and 2016 but were bounced before making the Stanley Cup Finals. The team lost in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015 to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Meanwhile, the Islanders are riding a wave of victory into the conference finals.
The Islanders got to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1984 but have been on a drought ever since. In that era, that had won four straight Stanley Cups and was the best team in the NHL for several years.
Making the Stanley Cup Finals would prove all the doubters in recent years wrong. All of the criticism for losing John Tavares would be quieter – and it comes down to beating the Lightning.
Here’s what else you need to know about the teams.
TAMPA BAY STAT LEADERS
Points: Brayden Point (18)
Goals: Brayden Point (6)
Assists: Brayden Point (12)
Saves: Andrei Vasilevskiy (389)
NEW YORK STAT LEADERS
Points: Josh Bailey (17)
Goals: Anthony Beauvillier (8)
Assists: Josh Bailey (15)
Saves: Semyon Varlamov (328)
SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
Game 1: Sept. 7 (8 pm; NBC Sports)
Game 2: Sept. 9 (8 pm; NBC Sports)
Game 3: Sept. 11 (8 pm; USA Network)
Game 4: Sept. 13 (8 pm; NBC)
Game 5: Sept. 15 (TBD)
Game 6: Sept. 17 (TBD)
Game 7: Sept. 19 (TBD)