Bet Islanders To Win As Your NHL Pick Over Panthers In A High-Level Clash

Dana Lane

Monday, March 14, 2016 4:04 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 14, 2016 4:04 PM GMT

The Pantherscan take the lead in the Atlantic Division with a regualtion win tonight. They go on the road to face the Islanders who may be losing the third playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division.

Panthers Preview
The Florida Panthers can sweep the season series from the New York Islanders tonight, something they haven't done in eight seasons. The Panthers trail the Boston Bruins by one point in the Atlantic Division but have two games in hand but the road has not been a friendly place for Florida where they are just 3-6-2 in their last 11 games after a streak that saw them win 11 of 13 away from Surprise. 

I have the panthers ranked fifth in my recent power poll but I'm mindful that they have had a season where a number of games could have gone against them. They have the luxury of having the most shootout wins in the league (7-3). Even if they were just .500 in those toss-up situations the Atlantic Division would look allot different than it does.

 

Islanders Summary
New York has cooled off after a 7-1-0 stretch that helped them to firmly hold on to the third playoff position in the Metro. Back to back losses has dampened that a bit but I think you'll see a sense of urgency from them tonight. They now only have a two point lead over Pittsburgh with two games in hand.  

Thomas Griess will get the start in net for New York and despite back to back losses has played well enough to win. In fact, Griess ranks second in the league in save percentage at .928. There were some reports that he would be rested tonight in favor of back-up Jean-Francois Berube but Griess is confirmed as tonight's starter. We know that Griess is keeping the crease warm until Jaroslav Halak can return but his play has given the Islanders one of the best goaltending combination in the league. In Griess' last 10 appearances he is 5-1-2 with a 2.11 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. He's a guy that has success Internationally which has given him the demeanor and maturity you want out of your back-up. 

New York's John Tavarez is starting to heat up as he has a goal in three straight games and a point in four. 

 

Final Overview
If there has been one glaring theme for the Panthers is that they have rarely gone on the road to face a a quality team and come out victorious. In their last 167 games against teams that have a home winning percentage of .600 or more the Panthers are just 51-113-3. This trend falls in the NHL odds boards of tonight's match-up as the Islanders are 20-8-4 at Barclays. 

The Islanders have been a team I've been very high on all season as they currently sit seventh in my recent power rating. This is one of the NHL picks that could make some noise in the playoff just because they are well coached by Jack Capuano and well conditioned. This will be their fourth game in six days, a situation they have thrived on. In the fourth game of a four in six New York is 21-7. 

That tells me this team is ready for the postseason and tonight. 

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Free NHL Pick: Islanders -129
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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