The Islanders and Panthers kick off their playoff series on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the BB&T Center.
According to STATS...
- The Islanders garnered at least one point in seven of their last nine tilts during the regular season (6-2-1 record), and have made the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since a three-season run from 2002 to 2004. New York's last postseason series win came in 1993 vs. Pittsburgh (has lost eight straight series since).
- Florida won five of its last six contests, setting a franchise record with 47 victories in 2015-16, on its way to its first 100+ point season all-time. The Panthers, who are making just their second playoff appearance in the last 15 seasons (also 2012), haven't won a postseason series since beating Pittsburgh in the 1996 Conference Finals.
- The Panthers took two of three from the Isles during the regular season, including a 2-1 shootout win in the clubs' only tilt at BB&T Center on November 27. New York and Florida are meeting in the playoffs for the first time tonight.
- John Tavares lit the lamp in each of his last four regular-season skates, and despite being a healthy scratch in the season finale, ended up leading the Islanders in scoring for the sixth time in his seven NHL campaigns. Tavares has 11 points (5g, 6a) in 13 career postseason games.
- Jaromir Jagr led all Florida skaters with 66 points in 2015-16, marking the fifth different club he's garnered a scoring title for in his 22 NHL campaigns (also Pittsburgh, Washington, NY Rangers and New Jersey). Jagr enters tonight's tilt with 199 career postseason points -- fifth most of any NHL skater all-time.
- The Islanders are 22-4 all-time when taking Game 1 of any postseason series. Florida has played in seven postseason series all-time, winning Game 1 four times (3-1 series record when taking Game 1).