Gameday: Islanders @ Panthers, 4/14/16, Game 1

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2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Round 1, Game 1
New York Islanders Florida Panthers 
Series: 0-0 tie
Thursday, April 14th, 2016 – 8:00PM EST
BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL
FS-F, CNBC, SN, TVAS2
Starting Goalies:
FLA: Luongo (35-19-6, .922, 2.35)
NYI: Greiss (23-11-4, .925, 2.36)

Continue to the game recap –>

Between The Lines

It’s finally here. The Panthers will play host to the New York Islanders in their first playoff game since April 26, 2012 when they meet on Thursday night at the BB&T Center. We’ve posted an entire series preview here, so check that out before reading further for a rundown of what to expect. The Panthers are coming in fairly hot as they’ve won 7 of their last 10 games and they’ve scored at least 3 goals in each of the 7 wins. The Islanders are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and have at least 4 goals in each of the 6 wins. Aleksander Barkov will enter Thursday’s game on a career-high 9-game point streak while Aaron Ekblad has 7 points in his last 6 games and Jonathan Huberdeau has 11 points in his last 9 games.

Florida faced the Hurricanes on Saturday and defeated them by a score of 5-2 with goals by Teddy Purcell, Jussi Jokinen, Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Reilly Smith in front of Roberto Luongo who made 26 saves on 28 shots. Erik Gudbranson missed his 3rd consecutive game after aggravating a prior foot injury on April 4th against the Maple Leafs, although he will be in the lineup for game 1. Vincent Trocheck has missed 6 games with a fractured fibula, although he is day-to-day after his walking boot was removed on Wednesday; he won’t play in game 1 at the very least. Steven Kampfer, who suffered an apparent ankle injury last Thursday against the Senators, is also expected to miss at least game 1 as he remains in a walking boot.

The Islanders last played on Sunday night when they lost 5-2 to the Flyers in a game which determined their playoff opponent. Had the Islanders won, they would’ve played the Panthers, and social media was rampant with speculation that the Islanders purposely sat their top players to lose and play the Panthers in round 1. Their lone goals came from Nikolay Kulemin and Matt Martin before they allowed 5 straight goals in front of Thomas Greiss and Christopher Gibson who split the game between the pipes.

The two teams last met in the regular season on March 14th when the Panthers scored the first 2 goals of the game but allowed 3 straight by the Islanders to lose in regulation.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
11 Huberdeau – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 51 Nielsen  – 91 Tavares – 21 Okposo
36 Jokinen – 27 Bjugstad – 18 Smith L2 86 Kulemin – 29 Nelson – 12 Bailey
26 Purcell – 23 Grimaldi – 24 Hudler L3 11 Prince – 18 Strome – 10 Quine
28 Wilson – 17 MacKenzie – 22 Thornton L4 17 Martin – 53 Cizikas – 15 Clutterbuck
51 Campbell – 44 Gudbranson D1 2 Leddy – 55 Boychuk
Kulikov – 5 Ekblad D2 44 de Haan – 3 Hamonic
46 Kindl – Petrovic D3 14 Hickey – 6 Pulock
1 Luongo – 35 Montoya G 1 Greiss – 30 Berube
McKegg, Howden, Matheson X Berube, Bernier, Boulton, Pelech, Zidlicky, Strait
Mitchell, Bolland, Kampfer, Trocheck INJ Halak, Lee, Grabovski, Berube

Regular Season Stats

Florida_Panthers.svg
Barkov (28), Jagr (27), Trocheck / Smith (25) Goals Tavares (33), Nelson (26), Okposo (22)
 Jokinen (42), Jagr / Huberdeau (39), Barkov (31) Assists Okposo (42), Tavares (37), Leddy (35)
 Jagr (66), Jokinen (60), Huberdeau / Barkov (59) Points Tavares (70), Okposo (64), Nielsen (52)
 Campbell (31), Jokinen (25), Jagr (23) +/-  Boychuk (17), Kulemin (13), Hickey (9)
 Barkov (9), Bjugstad (6), Jagr / Jokinen / Smith (5) PPG  Lee (8), Nielsen / Okposo / Tavares / Bailey (7)
 48.68% 5v5 CF%  49.51%
 8.84% 5v5 Sh%  8.11
 50.6% 5v5 SCF% 48.8%
 16.91%  PP%  18.34%
 79.48% PK%  84.8%
50.08% FO%  50.09%

Continue to the game recap –>

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