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Betting On Islanders Panthers – Islanders’ Search For Consistency Continues At Florida Saturday

Posted by on 3/14/2013 10:15:14 PM

The seventh-ranked powerplay and a top-10 offense has kept the New York Islanders in the hunt for a playoff spot through the first half of the online sports betting NHL season. For the Islanders to have any shot at the postseason, they will have to find a way to be more consistent beginning with a trip to Sunrise this weekend. John Tavares and company will visit the Florida Panthers this Saturday in what amounts to an absolute must-win regardless of the timing. There is still a ways to go before the postseason begins, but this is one of those games the Islanders can’t afford to lose.

New York Islanders @ Florida Panthers
Saturday March 16, 2013 – 7:30 PM ET
BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida
NHL Sports Betting Line: New York – 140

The Panthers have already been relegated to the role of spoilers for this season, with the worst record in hockey through the first half. That is quite the turnaround for a Florida team that won the Southeast division just one year ago, as nothing has gone right for them so far this year.

NHL Betting Preview: New York Islanders

The offense has carried the load so far for Long Island, but they will need to play better two-way hockey to have any shot at making the playoffs. The Islanders have averaged just under three goals per game thanks to a powerplay that has clicked at 23-percent, with Tavares leading the way in goals with 16, and points with 29. The news that Michael Grabner will be out of the lineup for 10 days with a separated shoulder doesn’t help, but that shouldn’t be enough to keep New York from earning an important two points. The 3.4 goals per game the Islanders have allowed is the second-worst mark in the NHL, and they must be better in that department.

NHL Betting Preview: Florida Panthers

The Panthers are the only NHL team that has allowed more goals on average than the Islanders this online sports betting season, and now they are facing the prospect of being without No. 1 goalie Jose Theodore for an extended period. Rookie Jakob Markstrom has been called on to carry the load, and it doesn’t help that the defense in front of him has looked absolutely brutal at times this season. Florida also hasn’t scored many goals as they rank just 24th in that department, with Tomas Kopecky leading the way at 17. The Panthers will also be without Kris Versteeg for quite some time, although that hurts the franchise more in terms of what he would have been worth in a trade.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Every point is that much more important in a lockout-shortened year, and while the Islanders have been very inconsistent through the first half, they still have a chance to turn things around and make the playoffs. The same cannot be said about a Florida team that has gone from first to worst in less than a full season, and now face a hungry Islanders’ team that has actually played better on the road than at home so far.

NHL Betting Pick: New York Islanders

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