NHL Picks: Look for Plenty of Goals In Isles vs. Panthers Game 2

Ross Benjamin

Friday, April 15, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 15, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Our NHL handicapping expert previews Friday’s playoff game between the Islanders/Panthers. Be sure to go inside before making any of your NHL picks today.

2015/2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs: 36-20-0 (64.3%)  (+1777 Units)

About the Writer/NHL Handicapper
Ross Benjamin, one of the most successful NHL handicappers during last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, is off to another good start in 2016. Ross’ transparency is highly regarded, so make sure you track his record as displayed in the right hand corner on most of his articles.


Islanders/Panthers Betting Preview for Game 2
The Islanders and Panthers will play Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal playoff series on Friday. The opening faceoff at the BB&T Arena in Sunrise, Florida is slated for 7:35 PM ET. Florida will look to even the series after sustaining a 5-4 home loss last night. The series opener easily went over the total of 5.0. These teams have now gone 8-1-1 over the total when facing one another since the 2013-2014 campaign began. According to current NHL odds at Matchbook.com, Florida is a -142 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0.


Recap of Game 1
Despite the Islanders being outshot 46-26 last night, they managed to escape with a win. The stellar goaltending of Thomas Greiss and a huge game from captain John Tavares were key contributing factors. Greiss made 42 saves, and that includes stopping 15 of 16 Panthers shots on goal in the third period. Tavares had a three point night that included a goal and two assists. In my professional opinion, Tavares is one the most vastly underrated players in the NHL.

It certainly wasn’t one of Roberto Luongo’s better performances in the series opener. He allowed five goals on just 26 shots. Florida is going to need much better goaltending than that if they hope to win this series. There certainly should be a high degree of urgency displayed by the Panthers tonight. Florida can ill afford to lose both games at home, and fall into a 2-0 series deficit, especially with three of the next four games slated to be played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.


Recent High Scoring Games for Isles and Cats
The Islanders have gone 5-0-1 over the total in its last six, and 8-2-1 over during their previous eleven games. During those past eleven outings, they’ve averaged 3.4 goals scored per game, and also allowed 3.5 per contest. New York has gone over the total in four of its last five when playing with no rest and that includes 3-0 during their previous three games when cast into that role.

As a result of Thursday’s game, Florida has now gone 8-0-1 over the total during its last nine at home. They’ve also seen only two of their previous twenty games stay under the total. The Panthers have amassed 34 shots or more on goal in six of their previous eight outings, and scored 4 goals or more during five of their previous six games.


Final Take and Pick
I hate siding with general public betting. However, this game will be one of those rare times that I’ll do so. I’ll have a small lean toward this game being a high scoring affair, and one of my Friday NHL picks will be indicative of that professional opinion.

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NHL Pick:  Panthers Over 5 -135 
Best Line Offered: at YouWager

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