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New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers - 4/1/14

Florida Panthers (27-40-8) at New York Islanders (29-35-10)
Date & Time Tuesday April 1, 2014, 7:00 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: New York Islanders / Florida Panthers --- Over/Under:
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The home town Islanders look to send the Panthers to their fourth straight defeat as the team’s meet up on Long Island on Tuesday night.

The Florida Panthers have continued their descent back into NHL irrelevancy this season just two years removed from winning the now defunct Southeast division but they are far from division titles at the moment and aren’t even near the playoffs. Florida does have a young roster and will be back into the postseason in a few years’ time but until then it’ll be a struggle and a surge of top draft picks. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleks Barkov are the future of this team but the two youngsters have struggled for different reasons this year as the former who busted out to the win the Calder Trophy last year is in the midst of a sophomore slump while the latter was injured at the Sochi Games and remains out of the Florida lineup. The Cats dropped a tough one on the road against the Devils last night and they continue their Atlantic trip tonight on the Island against New York.

The Islanders have had a disappointing campaign as they were projected to be a playoff team once again this season after slipping into the eighth seed last year but they will not get a shot at redemption this season. New York endured a season ending injury to John Tavares which effectively ended any shot at making the postseason but that was only injury to insult as the off ice drama involving the move of Matt Moulson and the subsequent trade of Thomas Vanek had diehard fans in a knot. The Isles have been playing better of late and do have some bright young talent that if groomed properly could rejoin the ranks as an Eastern Conference playoff team as early as next season. New York will look to improve their putrid home ice record and while I don’t like the price I think they have enough to get it done tonight against a drained out Panthers team who played last night.

New York Islanders -0.5
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