The Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders meet to begin the new season on Thursday at UBS Arena. The Panthers won all three games between the teams last season, including a 3-2 (OT) victory in their final meeting in April, their third straight win against New York. Aleksander Barkov (3G 0A) and Jonathan Huberdeau (0G 3A) each had three points to lead Florida. Sergei Bobrovsky got the win, saving 24 of 26 shots (.923%).
Florida averaged 4.11 goals per game last season, best in the NHL, and they are taking on an Islanders team that allowed 2.82 goals a game (7th). Meanwhile, New York found the net 2.79 times a game on average, 22nd in the league, and the Panthers allowed opponents to score 2.95 goals per game (12th).The Panthers were one of the league’s best power play teams (5th), converting 24.43% of their opportunities, while New York’s 84.19% penalty kill percentage ranked No. 4. The Islanders scored on 22.12% of their power play chances (12th). Florida’s PK% of 79.54 ranked No. 16.
LAST SEASON’S TOP PERFORMERS:
With 115 points last season, third-most in the NHL, Huberdeau was the top skater for the Panthers. He led the league with 85 assists and added 30 goals of his own. In the net, Bobrovsky (39-7-3) was Florida’s top goaltender by goals against average. He had a 2.67 GAA and a .913% save percentage. Brock Nelson (37G 22A) and Matthew Barzal (15G 44A) led the Islanders in scoring a season ago with 59 points each. Ilya Sorokin (26-18-8) had the best goals against average for New York at 2.40, fourth-best in the league. He had a save percentage of .925%, second-best.
SportsTips’ NHL Pick:
Florida Panthers (-135)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.