The Florida Panthers were supposed to be serious playoff contenders this season, and the New York Islanders, well, weren't.
But through roughly the first-eighth of this season, the opposite seemed true.
The Islanders, who visit the Panthers on Saturday night at the BB&T Center, entered the weekend atop the Metropolitan Division with 18 points and an 8-5-2 record.
New York hasn't seemed bothered by what many hockey writers predicted would be a catastrophe for the franchise -- superstar center John Tavares' decision to bolt to the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent. >> Read more
Copyright 2018 by the Associated Press