The New York Islanders and Florida Panthers are at FLA Live Arena on Saturday evening in Sunrise. This place was most recently known as the BB&T Center. I can’t keep up with all of the sponsorship changes that arenas go through. No matter what the name of the arena is in Sunrise, there’s a good team playing in this facility.
The Florida Panthers are looking to build on a successful regular season a year ago. They finished with a record of 37-14-5 and 79 points in the 2021 campaign. That was good for only a point behind the Carolina Hurricanes in the Central Division. Their effort got them into the playoffs. With their quick strike offense, the Panthers were feeling confident about their chances.
Carter starts it, Carter finishes it ? pic.twitter.com/nfDMsCd1y8
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) October 15, 2021
However, goaltending plays a big part of playoff success, and the Panthers didn’t have any help from their defense and netminder in 2021. This has been a major problem for the Panthers since they signed Sergei Bobrovsky to a seven-year $70 million deal. Expectations come with a contract like that.
The Columbus Blue Jackets had talent behind Bobrovsky, so passing on signing him to an expensive deal was an easy decision. One of those options unfortunately lost his life in the offseason because of a firework accident. With the death of Matiss Kivlenieks, the clear 1-2 in Columbus is Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins.
The Panthers have the Jackets’ leftovers and it hasn’t gone according to plan. Bobrovsky and the Panthers were able to survive, but it wasn’t because of excellent goaltending against the Penguins in their season opener. The Panthers came from behind to force overtime and win a 5-4 finale in Sunrise on Thursday night.
AND HIS SECOND!
A MOOD pic.twitter.com/lstKYBQkhd
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) October 15, 2021
Carter Verhaeghe and Aaron Ekblad both found the back of the net past Casey DeSmith. Ekblad buried a couple of 3rd period goals to get the contest into overtime, and then Verhaeghe netted his second goal of the game to end the game.
The Panthers welcome an Islanders team that were uncharastically bad defensively in a 6-3 loss against the Hurricanes. That’s a good Hurricanes team to look out for, but the Isles looked ill prepared in their season opener. Head below for our free Islanders vs. Panthers pick on October 16, 2021.
New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers Live Odds and Betting History:
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|NY Islanders||+1.5 (-220)||+118||Over 5.5 (-125)|
|Florida Panthers||-1.5 (+190)||-130||Under 5.5 (+113)|
|Team Data||NY Islanders||Florida Panthers|
|Goals Per Game||3.0||5.0|
|Goals Against Per Game||6.0||4.0|
|Shots Per game||28.0||39.0|
|Shots Against Per Game||41.0||47.0|
Islanders vs. Panthers Prediction:
The Islanders did not look like the same fundamentally sound defensive team that we’ve come to know over the last five or so years against the Hurricanes. Not only did the goals come, but Ilya Sorokin was hammered for 41 shots.
He could have undoubtedly played a better game. However, the defense left Sorokin out to defend for himself. Sorokin finished with a lackluster 5.18 GAA and 0.875 save percentage on 41 shots.
The Hurricanes did a good job turning that one into a track meet. That’s exactly the same game plan that the Panthers want to do. The Panthers are even better than the Hurricanes at turning games into track meets.
Florida finished first in the Central Division with 189 goals scored last year. They averaged 3.36 goals per game for fourth in the NHL. Sergei Bobrovsky was again the weak link on this team. He posted a 2.91 GAA and 0.906 save percentage.
He wasn’t good and not living up to his contract, though Bobrovsky needs help as well. The Panthers allowed a whopping 47 shots in the season opener, which continues on from their defensive deficiencies last year.
NY Islanders vs. Florida Panthers Betting Trends:
- 0-4 overall in their first four games on the road
- 0-4 overall in their previous four games as an underdog on the road
- 2-5 overall in their previous seven games as an underdog
- OVER is 6-2 in their previous eight games as underdog on the road
- OVER is 6-2-3 in their previous 11 games on one day rest
- 13-3 overall in their previous 16 games in Sunrise
- 20-6 overall in their previous 26 games as a favorite in Sunrise
- OVER is 5-1-1 in their previous seven games as a favorite
- OVER is 3-0-1 in their previous four games versus the Metropolitan
- OVER is 5-2-1 in their previous eight games after a win
The OVER is 5-1-1 in the last seven games when the Panthers are a favorite. That’s important because a high-scoring game is how they like to play.
The Panthers go fast and usually dictate the pace of games. When they’re projected to win, they more often than not force the game into an uptempo attack.
Ilya Sorokin was shaky in his 2021-22 season opener. He allowed 5 goals on 40 shots for a 5.18 GAA and 0.875 save percentage.
The sophomore Russian is better than that, but Semyon Varlamov isn’t there to provide the Isles with help if the young Sorokin can’t get into a groove.
Their last three meetings have gone 4-2, 3-2, and 5-1 with the Isles winning two of those games. With both defenses facing a lot of pressure early this season, look for this one to finish with a final score of 4-2 or 4-3 in Sunrise. This total from the books should probably be 6 goals.