The NHL action continues with 11 games scheduled for Friday, December 23, and this conference tilt in the Long Island, NY is one of them, so make sure you check out the best Panthers vs. Islanders betting pick and odds.
New York is playing the second of back-to-back games when they host Florida at UBS Arena. The Panthers are -122 moneyline favorites on BetMGM, while the total is set at 6.5 goals. These conference rivals have faced on two occasions this year, and the Panthers won both games.
Panthers lost to the Devils at home
The Florida Panthers (15-15-3-1, 11-23 ATS) beat the New Jersey Devils a few days ago on the road, but the Devils returned a favor with a 4-2 victory in Florida. It was the second straight defeat for the Panthers, who conceded 11 goals in that span and dropped to 12th place in the Eastern Conference with 34 points, four behind the Islanders.
Florida had a 1-0 and 2-1 lead, but New Jersey scored three unanswered goals in the final period to book a victory. Eric Staal and Eetu Luostarinen scored for the Panthers, and even though they had 36 shots opposite the Devils’ 33, New Jersey’s goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood was solid with 34 saves. This year, Matthew Tkachuk is the best Panther with 39 points (G 14, A 25), while Carter Verhaeghe with 28 (G 17, A 11) and Brandon Montour with 26 points (G 6, A 20) are also key contributors.
Sergei Bobrovsky (7-10-1) will take his place in the cage against the Islanders on Friday. The 34-year-old is allowing 3.25 goals per game this season with a .895 SV% and one shutout.
RW Patric Hornqvist (concussion), C Aleksander Barkov (lower body), and LW Anthony Duclair (Achilles) are out indefinitely and will not play on Friday against New York.
Islanders lost to the Avalanche despite Ilya Sorokin’s heroics
The New York Islanders (18-13-0-2, 20-13 ATS) were on a three-game losing skid which they snapped with a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. However, the Islanders lost the very next game as they were kept off the scoreboard in a 1-0 shootout defeat to the Colorado Avalanche on the road. The Isles will conclude their five-game road trip on Thursday against the city rivals Rangers and then will play the next three games at UBS Arena.
Ilya Sorokin was phenomenal in Denver as he recorded his third shutout of the season, but his teammates failed to score as the Avalanche won 1-0 in the shootout. Sorokin made 46 saves, while the Isles had just 26 shots and were pretty much toothless offensively. So far this campaign, Brock Nelson leads New York with 33 points (G 15, A 18), while Mathew Barzal is right behind with 31 (G 4, A 27).
Ilya Sorokin (10-10-1) will likely have to play the second of a back-to-back because Semyon Varlamov has yet to resume skating and is doubtful against the Panthers on Friday. The 27-year-old is conceding 2.36 goals per game this season with a .926 SV% and three shutouts.
RW Cal Clutterbuck (upper body) and D Adam Pelech (upper body) are out indefinitely. RW Kyle Palmieri (upper body) is questionable to face Florida on Friday.
2-5 in the last seven overall 5-11 in the last 16 road games
7-3 in the last ten vs. Eastern Conference rivals 9-3 in the last 12 home games following a road trip of seven or more days 4-1 in the last five games playing without rest
Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders Pick
I know that the Islanders will be playing the second of a back-to-back, but luckily for them, their road trip will end in New York against the Rangers. They will not have to cover a long distance to return to UBS Arena, which is a bit of an advantage for the Isles.
The Islanders are not scoring plenty of goals recently, but the goaltender’s matchup is on their side. Sorokin conceded more than three goals only twice in his last ten starts, while Florida’s defense is struggling of late as it allowed 4+ goals in five of the previous seven. The Isles are allowing 2.73 goals per game, which is a top-10 defense, unlike the Panthers’ which is surrendering 3.35 gpg.
Pick: Take the Islanders to win (-102)
The Islanders scored 4+ goals in four of their last eight games, and I believe they have an excellent opportunity to do it again against Bobrovsky and the Panthers’ leaky defense. They will likely be frustrated on offense against the city rivals Rangers on Friday, so this game will be a good chance for them to score a bunch of goals. Over is 8-3-1 in the Panthers’ last 12 road games; Over is 5-2 in the Islanders’ previous seven overall, while Over is 4-1 in New York’s last five games playing without rest.
Pick: Go Over 6.5 goals (-110)