Florida (1-1) at NY Islanders (1-1)
When: Saturday, April 16th 2016
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC Sports
The Florida Panthers and New York Islanders will each try to gain the upper hand in their best of seven series when they battle at Barclays Center on Sunday night. This will be the first playoff game at the new arena where the Islanders were 25-11-5 this season and split the two games there with Florida. Islanders captain John Tavares is on a roll right now with a goal in six straight games including two so far in this series to go along with two assists. Tavares scored the only goal for New York on Friday to break up the shutout late in the 3rd period in a 3-1 loss. The offense was clicking in Game 1 with a 5-4 victory, but couldn’t get anything past Roberto Luongo in Game 2 and are now 1-for-5 on the power play this series. Goalie Thomas Greiss has stopped 70-of-76 shots he’s faced through the first two games.
The Panthers got a much needed win in Game 2 after Luongo was torched in Game 1 by letting up five goals on 26 shots. Luongo was brilliant in Friday’s win stopping 41-of-42 shots and came within three and a half minutes of a shutout. Luongo broke a seven-game postseason losing streak in the effort. Reilly Smith continued his stellar series by joining Nick Bjugstad and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov with a goal and an assist in Game 2. Smith has five points in the series so far which matches his total in his previous 12 postseason games. Linemates Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau have yet to score in the series, but the former has a team high-tying 10 shots on goal while the latter has nine. Jaromir Jagr has yet to score and his goal-less streak in the postseason has reached 33 games. Florida is just 1-of-4 on the power play so far this series.
The Islanders are back home where they’ve played well this year. Luongo has not played well in the postseason despite his stellar effort on Friday. I don’t think he’ll put together back-to-back efforts like that. I’ll take New York laying a small price.
Pick: Islanders -117