The New York Islanders will look to close out their Stanley Cup Qualifier series against the Panthers today. Here’s everything to know about the matchup.
For the first time, this series the New York Islanders and Florida Panthers will be playing on back-to-back days and the Islanders have a chance to finish the Panthers off and sweep the series with a win.
Just like yesterday, today’s game is set for a 12:00 p.m. puck drop. This will be interesting because both teams had less than 24 hours to reset and prepare for today’s game and very rarely do teams have back-to-back games with an early start.
Yesterday, the Islanders played great all-around hockey to beat the Panthers 4-2. They fell behind twice in the game but kept on putting pressure on Florida. Eventually, the Isles were rewarded with three unanswered goals to close out the game.
This will be the first time this series that the Islanders will be the away team. This will give Florida the last change and the advantage to play the line matchups they want against the Islanders.
Tale of the Tape
As shown above, the Islanders have controlled all aspects of this series. One interesting stat that is not listed above is giveaways. The Islanders have limited their giveaways to 13 so far this series, while Florida has had 29 giveaways, including 20 yesterday.
This just shows that the Islanders game plan has been working. They are forcing Florida into making mistakes and giving the puck away. This leads to more shots and offensive zone time for the Isles.
The Islanders come into today’s game as the favorites, courtesy of the Action Network.
This should come as no surprise to anyone. The Islanders have improved their record this season/playoffs to 5-0-0 against Florida this year. The Isles defense has shut down the Panthers’ offense and I expect today to be no different.
I expect the Panthers will come out with a strong effort and get pucks and bodies to the Islanders net, but the Isles will weather the storm and play their game.
I would play the favorites in this one!
As the old saying goes: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
With that being said, the Islanders are not projected to make any changes to the lineup that won game two.
All signs lead to Semyon Varlamov starting again in the net for game three. He has been consistent in goal for the Isles and has come up big when called upon. In this series, he has stopped 51 of 54 shots.
The Islanders are projected to lineup like this:
The Florida Panthers are in desperation mode and we will definitely see them make some lineup changes for today’s game.
Yesterday for the second straight game Florida dressed 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. One player in that lineup who has had a tough series is: Mike Matheson
Matheson has had a total of eight penalty minutes and was a -2 yesterday. He was also fined $2,500 for high sticking Brock Nelson.
Joe Quenneville will be looking to shake things up and Matheson may be scratched for game three.
The Panthers are hoping to get Lucas Wallmark back for game three, after missing the first two games. If he is available, he will center the third line.
One thing that is expected to stay the same in this lineup is in the net:
Sergei Bobrovsky is projected to start today and will try to keep the series alive for Florida.
The Panthers are projected to lineup like this:
Where to Catch the Game
TV: MSG+, MSG GO, NBCSN, SN, TVAS, FS-F, NHL.TV
Radio: 88.7FM 103.9FM 98.7FM
*All Stats Provided by the NHL*