NHL PREVIEWS |

Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders Preview and Predictions 08-04-2020

It's been a long time since the NHL held a best-of-five playoff series, but the New York Islanders have that ancient history on their side after winning Game 1 of the Eastern Conference qualifying round against the Florida Panthers.

The seventh-seeded Islanders will look to take a giant step toward advancing to the NHL's main playoff bracket when they face the 10th-seeded Panthers in Game 2 on Tuesday afternoon in Toronto.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Anthony Beauvillier scored and goalie Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves to lead New York to a 2-1 victory on Saturday afternoon.

The win was the first for the Islanders since a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 23. New York lost its next seven games (0-3-4) before the regular season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12.

Saturday's victory marked a return to form for the Islanders, who are tied with the Boston Bruins for the second-fewest regular season goals allowed (389) in the NHL since head coach Barry Trotz arrived prior to the 2018-19 season. New York has allowed just one goal in four of its five playoff wins under Trotz.

"I didn't know how we would fare today," Trotz said Saturday. "I felt pretty good, but you just don't know until you see what they have to offer."

The Game 1 win indicates the Islanders have a pretty good chance of faring well in the series. The first round was a best-of-five affair during the 1980-86 playoffs, during which the team that won Game 1 went on to win the series 49 times in 56 series (87.5 percent). A team that won the first two games went 35-1, with the 1985 Islanders mounting the only comeback from an 0-2 hole.

The Panthers enter Tuesday feeling pretty good after outshooting the Islanders 19-17 over the final 40 minutes on Saturday. Jonathan Huberdeau scored Florida's goal 23 seconds into the third period.

"We got better once the game went on in the second, third period," Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said following the game. "Game 2 starts from 0-0, so we have to keep doing what we did in the second half of the game and keep getting better. Keep building on that and we should be fine.

"We're really excited and we're really happy about our late push. Obviously not the result we wanted, but we're going to get better."

Varlamov and the Panthers' Sergei Bobrovsky are expected to face off again in the net. The win for Varlamov on Saturday was his first in the postseason since April 26, 2014. Bobrovsky also made 27 saves in the opener.

The Panthers escaped Game 1 without any known injuries, although center Lucas Wallmark didn't play for undisclosed reasons.

The Islanders had to play most of the final two periods without defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who took a hit to the head in the open ice from Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson. Trotz offered no update Sunday on Boychuk, who missed the final five games of the regular season with an eye injury.

--Field Level Media

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Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Uniondale, New York, USA.
Capacity: 16,250

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Last Injuries

New York Islanders

  • Johnny Boychuk

    Head
    Ques Fri | questionable

    Boychuk is being evaluated for a concussion, and it has yet to be determined if he will return against the Capitals in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first round.

  • Leo Komarov

    Face
    Ques Fri | questionable

    Komarov has a facial injury, and it is unclear if he will play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference qualifying round versus the Panthers.

Florida Panthers

  • Jonathan Huberdeau

    Leg
    Prob Fri | probable

    Huberdeau is battling a leg injury, but it is anticipated that he will draw back into the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference qualifying round against the Islanders.

  • Lucas Wallmark

    Undisclosed
    Ques Wed | questionable

    Wallmark has an unspecified ailment, and it is unclear if he will play against the Islanders in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference qualifying round.

  • Mike Matheson

    Poss. Suspension
    Ques Wed | questionable

    Matheson is facing supplemental discipline for an illegal hit to the head, placing his availability for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference qualifying round against the Islanders in question.

  • MacKenzie Weegar

    Undisclosed
    Prob Sat | probable

    Weegar is nursing an unspecified ailment, but he is likely to take part in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference qualifying round against the Islanders.

new-york-islanders Stats 2019-2020

Offensive
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Statistics
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Assits
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Defense
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Shutouts
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Time on ice
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS

florida-panthers Stats 2019-2020

Offensive
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Statistics
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Assits
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Defense
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Shutouts
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Time on ice
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS