Florida at NY Islanders
Recommendation: New York Team Total over 3.5
The Florida Panthers were stuck in the midst of a nasty problem keeping the puck out of their own net heading into the All-Star Break this past weekend. Florida’s defensive play has been downright horrendous as they have surrendered 3+ goals in nine straight games and a total of 37 goals during that span. With Roberto Luongo and James Reimer both injured, Florida is relegated to starting the third goalie on their depth chart that being journeyman Finnish goalie Harri Sateri for this game. His numbers are very poor with a 4.60 GAA and .880 save percentage in three starts and four appearances this season. The New York Islanders are one of the league’s top offensive teams and their firepower has been even more lethal on home ice here in Brooklyn where the Islanders are averaging 3.61 goals per game on home ice. In each of the last two head-to-head encounters between the Panthers and Islanders, New York managed to score 5 goals in each game against Florida and with the Panthers currently struggling in their own end and also lacking a legitimate NHL #1 caliber goalie currently, they are poised to have more problems keeping the opposition down in this game tonight. On the flip side, New York has improved defensively in recent games and their goalie Jaroslav Halak has stopped 104 of the last 111 shots he’s faced. Rather than having to trust Florida to score goals in this game (the Panthers have scored just three goals in their last three games combined) to get this game Over a very high total of 6.5, I’d rather go the Team Total route here and will recommend the NY Islanders Over their team total of 3.5 at a solid plus price return. Florida has conceded four goals or more in seven of its last nine games and I the New York Islanders are more than capable of reaching that mark tonight.