Islanders vs. Panthers Pick
The Florida Panthers are red-hot but can they take Game 1 of the Conference Quarterfinals tonight when they host the New York Islanders at 8:00PM ET?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Panthers are -145 money line favorites versus the Islanders, who have odds of +125 to pull off the upset tonight at Game 1. The total, meanwhile, is sitting at 5 goals.
"You always have to take advantage no matter what age you're at," said tonight’s goaltender Roberto Luongo via the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. "I had a chance to go to the Finals five years ago and you never know when you are going to get another opportunity and when an opportunity rolls along you want to take advantage of it, enjoy it and try to make the most out of it."
The 37-year-old Luongo was a huge part of Florida’s success this season and finished with a 35-19-6 record with a 2.35 goals-against-average and a .922 save percentage. New York will counter with Thomas Greiss, who has just 40 minutes of playoff experience.
OUR PICK: The Islanders are 1-4 in their last five games versus the Panthers and just 4-12 in their last 16 road games versus Florida. The Panthers, meanwhile, are 5-1 in their last six games and 13-3 in their last 16 contests playing on three or more days of rest. Florida has also cashed at the betting window in five of its last seven home games.
THURSDAY NHL FREE PICK: FLORIDA PANTHERS -145