Tuesday NHL Odds, Betting Preview & Predictions for Panthers vs. Islanders (April 19)
Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Picturd: Jonathan Huberdeau and Sergei Bobrovsky
- The Panthers are road favorites on Tuesday night against the Islanders.
- Will Florida win its 11th straight game, or will New York protect its home ice?
- Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and shares her best bet below.
Panthers vs. Islanders Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Step right up, New York Islanders. You’re the next unlucky foes set to face the surging Florida Panthers, who are riding a 10-game winning streak and averaging a staggering 5.3 goals per game through that stretch.
As the Panthers prepare for what they hope is an extended playoff run, the Islanders are now playing out the string, officially eliminated from the postseason race after their 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday.
Here’s the latest on both teams and your best bet for the game.
Panthers Remain Dominant Down the Stretch
After winning their last two games by matching 6-1 scores, the Panthers will close out a quick two-game road trip with their first-ever visit to the new UBS Arena on Tuesday. They hosted the Islanders twice last fall, winning 5-1 on Oct. 16 and 6-1 exactly one month later.
That’s basically the norm these days for the Cats, whose Expected Goals rate at 5-on-5 over the last 10 games is in a class of its own at 61.51%, nearly four full points ahead of second-place Boston (57.56%). Their rate of High Danger Chances is even gaudier, at 65.92%, which is more than seven percentage points better than second-place Carolina (58.50%).
Florida is also averaging a league-high 42.5 Shots on Goal over the last 10 games, and Jonathan Huberdeau’s 18 points in the last 10 games have him challenging for the Art Ross Trophy, sitting just two points behind Connor McDavid in second place as of Monday night.
If there’s one area that the Panthers look more like a mortal hockey club, it’s on special teams. Their Power-Play rate over the last 10 games is 26.7%, and they’re at 80.7% on the Penalty Kill — not bad numbers, to be sure, but not in the record-setting stratosphere of some of their other stats.
Given their high-octane style, goals get scored at both ends of the ice when there’s a man advantage. Over the last 10 games, Florida has scored three goals while shorthanded and allowed two shorthanded goals to their opponents.
All the scoring has overshadowed some strong recent efforts on defense and in net. In their last four games, the Panthers have allowed a total of just five goals, with the workload split between Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight.
Knight earned the win in Detroit on Sunday, so Bobrovsky will likely get the nod on Long Island on Tuesday.
After missing nine games with an upper-body injury, forward Noel Acciari is expected to be back into the Panthers’ lineup.
Can Sorokin Carry the Islanders?
After back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Final, the Islanders’ season was undone almost before it began with the endless autumn road trip while they waited for their new arena to be completed.
Once they settled in, things improved. The Islanders are a respectable 19-13-4 on home ice this season and 7-4-0 overall in their last 11 games, although they’ve been in a win-one/lose-one pattern over the last eight-game stretch.
And while he doesn’t enjoy nearly the same fanfare as his counterpart Igor Shesterkin over in Manhattan, Ilya Sorokin is also establishing himself as one of the NHL’s top goalkeepers. He has a .927 Save Percentage in his second NHL season to go along with a 2.31 Goals Against Average and 12.1 Goals Saved Above Expected.
And that’s behind an Islanders team that has, uncharacteristically, been fourth-worst in the league at controlling Expected Goals at 5-on-5 over the last 10 games (42.69%).
The Islanders have played eight of their nine April games to date on the road. The last time they were home, last Tuesday, they beat Pittsburgh 5-4 in a shootout.
New York will finish out the year with five of its last seven at UBS Arena, starting Tuesday.
Sorokin will likely make his fifth-straight start, especially since Semyon Varlamov was scratched from the last two games due to illness. On the injury front, the Islanders are without forward Cal Clutterbuck and defenseman Scott Mayfield.
Panthers vs. Islanders Pick
This matchup features two teams with contrasting styles — an Islanders group that traditionally likes to keep games close and eke out one-goal wins against a Panthers team that prefers to blow the doors off every arena they skate into.
But the Islanders’ poor recent Expected Goals percentage is an indication that they’re not bottling up their opponents to their usual level these days. Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the similarly high-flying Maple Leafs offers additional anecdotal evidence, although they kept it close until the Leafs popped an empty-netter with nine seconds left to play.
Will Barry Trotz’s group sag on Tuesday, now that it has officially been eliminated from the playoffs for the first time since he took over behind the Islanders’ bench four seasons ago? The players would be only human if they did, although they may get a boost from their fans as they return to their home base.
All things considered, the Panthers should log their 11th-straight win, but the game may be close — and perhaps not as high-scoring as we’ve come to expect lately.
For the best value, back the Panthers in Regulation at -128 rather than taking the Islanders on the puck line at -145.
Pick: Panthers Regulation Win (-128) | Play Down to -135
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