It’s been awhile. For both these teams.
The Florida Panthers haven’t won a playoff series since 1996, the same year they went on to make a run to the Stanley Cup Final. The New York Islanders, meanwhile, haven’t won a playoff series since 1993.
Someone’s streak is going to end. Now.
The Panthers host New York in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Thursday night and while neither squad particularly dominated in the final stretch of the regular season, it’s a brand-new slate heading into the playoffs.
Read on for a complete look at tonight’s matchup, including the odds for Game 1 as well as live streaming options if you’re not going to be near a TV screen at puck drop:
Date: Thursday, April 14
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida
TV Channel: CNBC, RSN, TVA, MSG+, FSFL
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Odds: Florida – 138 via OddsShark
Preview: Jaromir Jagr has been playing hockey for quite some time.
That may be an understatement, actually. In fact, Jagr was part of the Pittsburgh Penguins team that fell to the New York Islanders the last time they won a playoff series; in 1993.
“It’s a long time [ago], but I remember. I saw some highlights lately,” Jagr told NHL.com earlier this week. “That’s what the playoffs is about. [Whenever] media or people think it’s going to be easy, it might go the other way. That’s why it’s so exciting.”
Now, Jagr is on a different team, part of a Florida Panthers squad that has surprised the entire NHL this season.
Florida is looking for its first postseason series victory in 20 years and while the Panthers faced their fair share of ups and downs this season, the squad is confident heading into the series against the Islanders. In fact, the Panthers defeated New York twice this season, although the Islanders did notch a victory in the most recent matchup.
The Panthers are also a bit more confident thanks to the return of defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who missed the last three games of the regular season with an upper-body injury.