Florida Panthers at New York Islanders - 8/1/20 NHL Picks and Prediction
Photo by Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Florida Panthers (35-26-8) at New York Islanders (35-23-10)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm (Scotiabank Arena)
The Line: New York Islanders -115 / Florida Panthers -105 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders meet in game one of their best-of-five qualifying round series in NHL action from Scotiabank Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Florida Panthers enter the playoffs as the #10 seed, finishing with a record of 35-26-8 on 78 points with a point percentage of .565 this season. The Panthers bring a lot of familiar faces to the playoffs, making their first postseason appearance since 2015-16 and just their third appearance since 2000, looking to make it out of the first round for just the second time in franchise history. Jonathan Huberdeau led the Panthers with 78 points, including a team-high 55 assists while Aleksandar Barkov had 62 points with 42 assists and Mike Hoffman had a team-high 29 goals this season. Sergei Bobrovsky saw the bulk of the action between the pipes, posting a record of 23-19-6 with a 3.23 GAA and .900 save percentage this season.
The New York Islanders come into the playoffs as the #7 seed, logging a record of 35-23-10 with a points percentage of .588 this season. The playoff berth for the Isles just built on their recent run of regular season success, making it four playoff appearances in the last six seasons for the Islanders. Mathew Barzal led the Isles in points with 60 points on the year including a team-high 41 assists while Brock Nelson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau each had a team-high 26 goals with Nelson adding 28 assists to finish 2nd on the team with 54 points in the regular season. New York has a two-headed monster of their own in goal, with Thomas Greiss owning a 16-9-4 mark with a 2.74 GAA and .913 save percentage while Semyon Varlamov has a mark of 19-14-6 with a 2.62 GAA and .914 save percentage this season.
Florida is 1-9 in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record and 1-4 in their last 5 games against the Metropolitan division while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 games as an underdog. New York is 3-13 in their last 16 games against a team with a winning record and 0-5 in their last 5 games against the Eastern Conference while the under is 7-3-2 in their last 12 games against the Atlantic division. Florida is 0-4 in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.
This is one of the series that a lot of fans had marked on upset alert, as the Panthers are one of the better offensive teams in the league. However, the Panthers are equally as poor on the defensive end, sitting 29th in the league in goals against per game and while you can’t necessarily make a judgment off of an exhibition game, Sergei Bobrovsky looked terrible in goal for the Panthers. New York plays a very agitating style of hockey that could get under the skin and rattle the cage of a team with little playoff experience like Florida. I’ll side with the Islanders to draw first blood in this series with a win here.