Last night in the NHL we already experienced our first elimination as the New York Rangers were swept at the hands of the high-powered Carolina Hurricanes. After entering the bubble in Toronto a week ago, the Rangers are already sent packing. These best-of-5 series are certainly quick sprints, and we could have another one on Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday will bring us another loaded day of NHL action, with six contests on the docket. In early action at Noon EST, the New York Islanders will seek to eliminate the Florida Panthers. Barry Trotz’s group has looked completely in control thus far, and knows the benefit of giving his squad some extra rest.
These two teams played yesterday, and despite the Panthers having two separate leads in the game, the will and desire of the Isles seemed stronger later in the match. New York stormed back to secure a 4-2 victory, and can now close out the series Wednesday afternoon.
For our betting prediction, team news, and odds analysis – continue reading on beneath the posted odds. Desperation often brings good excitement, and the Florida Panthers will certainly be desperate for a victory as they’re on the brink of elimination. Enjoy, folks!
Panthers vs. Islanders Betting Odds:
Florida Panthers (+110)
New York Islanders (-121)
Over 5 (-123)
Under 5 (+112)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Panthers vs. Islanders Pick:
It remains to be seen if there is a way back for Florida in this tightly contested best-of-5 series. It’s not as if this group is necessarily bad or overmatched, but consistently they’ve been bested by the Islanders in crucial stretches.
Coached by Barry Trotz, the Isles take no prisoners in their approach to playoff hockey. They’re a hardened group, and are very battle-tested. They’ve been here in recent seasons before, and know what it takes to win. The younger and unproven Florida Panthers are quickly finding that out.
One area the Panthers are really struggling in right now is getting production for their top talents. They need far more creativity within their offensive systems, as Sasha Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau aren’t getting enough good looks. The Islanders have been suffocating through the neutral zone, and the tandem of Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock on defense has been stifling.
Additionally, Panthers’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has continued his run of inconsistent form. Though he hasn’t been brutal through two games, the Russian netminder certainly isn’t doing his team any favours. He’s been just okay through 120 minutes of game action, but is getting soundly outplayed by his fellow countryman across the ice in Semyon Varlamov.
Expect the Isles to stick with the formula that got them this 2-0 lead in Game 3. They’ll use a diligent skating 4th line in Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas, and Cal Clutterbuck in hard matchups – and feel good about unleashing their skill on the third and fourth lines of Florida. The Panthers depth options haven’t shown well thus far, and it’s playing right into the hands of the Islanders.
In a crucial Game 3, don’t expect any let-up from this veteran Islanders squad. They know what it takes to win, and know what they need to do to win ugly. There’s a huge benefit in getting some added rest by finishing their series earlier, and expect them to do just that on Wednesday. It’ll be another disappointing post-season for Florida, as the Panthers will be sent home early.
Pick: New York Islanders 4-1