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First Round Matchup: Panthers vs Islanders

The Florida Panthers will take on the New York Islanders in the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Panthers clinched just their second playoff appearance in 15 years, let by a mix of old and young talent. They’re up against a tough Islanders team, who has made the postseason for the second straight season. They haven’t made it out of the first round since 1993, their deep blue-line and highly skilled forwards look to change that.

The Panthers hold home-ice advantage for the series.

Broadcast Schedule:
G1 Thurs. April 14, NY Islanders at Florida, 8 p.m. ET Sportsnet
G2 Fri. April 15, NY Islanders at Florida, 7:30 p.m. ET SN360
G3 Sun. April 17, Florida at NY Islanders, 8 p.m. ET Sportsnet
G4 Wed. April 20, Florida at NY Islanders, 8 p.m. ET Sportsnet
G5 *Fri. April 22, NY Islanders at Florida, TBD
G6
Sun. April 24, Florida at NY Islanders TBD
G7
*Tues. April 26, NY Islanders at Florida TBD

ADVANCED STATS:
Panthers: 5on5CF% – 48.7; 5on5Sv% – .933; 5on5Sh% – 8.84; PDO = 102.1
Islanders: 5on5CF% – 49.6; 5on5Sv% – .926; 5on5Sh% – 8.06; PDO = 100.7
(via stats.hockeyanalysis.com)

Florida Panthers

  • 1st in the Atlantic Division
  • 2nd in the Eastern Conference
    • 47-26-9
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 29: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Florida Panthers i congratulated by teammates after scoring a second period goal against the Montreal Canadiens at the BB&T Center on December 29, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL – DECEMBER 29: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Florida Panthers i congratulated by teammates after scoring a second period goal against the Montreal Canadiens at the BB&T Center on December 29, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

The Panthers finished first in the Atlantic, winning the Division title and second in the Eastern Conference. Their season has been good, and with the firepower they have, it should be. Their good mix of young talent and veterans is outstanding. A few solid pickups at the deadline solidified this Panthers team. They finished 8th in the league in GPG (goals per game), with 2.83. For GAA (goals against average) they ended up 7th place in the league, letting in 2.44 on average. The Panthers powerplay this year has been mediocre, ending up 23rd, at 16.9%. Their penalty kill just the same, ending 24th at 79.5%.

New York Islanders

  • 4th in the Metropolitan Division
  • 7th in the Eastern Conference
    • 45-27-10

johnny-boychuk-nhl-new-york-islanders-new-york-rangers-850x560

The Islanders finished 4th in the Metropolitan, claiming the first wild card in the East, ending 7th in the Conference. Their season hasn’t been bad either, a good push in the middle of the year helped. They finished 11th in the league in GPG (goals per game), with 2.78 per. GAA (goals against average) has been alright, finishing 12th, letting in 2.54 on average. The Isles powerplay has been middle of the pack also, finishing 13th in the league at 18.7%. Their penalty kill however, much better. It finished 2nd in the league, at 85.5%.

Head-to-head

Florida: 2-1-0

New York: 1-1-1

Leaders:

Florida:

Goals: Aleksander Barkov – 28

Assists: Jussi Jokinen – 42

Plus/Minus: Brian Campbell – 31

Powerplay Goals: Aleksander Barkov – 9

Goalie Wins: Roberto Luongo – 35

Goalie Save %: Roberto Luongo – /922

New York:

Goals: John Tavares – 33

Assists: Kyle Okposo – 42

Plus/Minus: Johnny Boychuk – 17

Powerplay Goals: Anders Lee – 8

Goalie Wins: Thomas Greiss – 23

Goalie Save %: Thomas Greiss – .926

Key Injuries

Florida:

  • Steven Kampfer – Ankle, day-to-day
  • Erik Gudbranson – Concussion-like symptoms, day-to-day
  • Vincent Trocheck – Foot, day-to-day
  • Willie Mitchell – Lower-body, IR
  • Dave Bolland – Lower-body, IR
  • Marc Savard – Post-concussion syndrome, IR

New York:

  • Kyle Okposo – Personal Reasons, day-to-day
  • Anders Lee – Broken left fibula – day-to-day
  • Brian Strait – Upper-body, day-to-day
  • Jean-Francois Berube – Lower-body, day-to-day
  • Travis Hamonic – Lower-body, day-to-day
  • Mikhail Grabovski – Upper-body, day-to-day
  • Jaroslav Halak – Groin, day-to-day

Coleton MacDonald
The Founder of Weliveforhockey.com
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