(7) Islanders (10) Panthers
Why the Islanders will win this series:
The Islanders have a solid defensive posture, which will help them overcome teams in the long run. However, you can't rely only on shutting teams down. We will also have to see if the acquisitions of Pageau and Green will come to fruition. With a mere 192 GF this season, the result of this series will be on Varlamov and Greiss. They will need a .920+ Sav% for the Isles to have a chance. Why the Islanders will win? Pageau and Green put up some numbers the Isles traded for and Varlamov steals the show. Isles in 4.
Why the Panthers will win this series:
It's nice to see this team back in the hunt. With a lot of young faces, this team is in the midst of a rebuild and on the fringe of being a yearly playoff team. The Panthers need to come out flying. Barkov, Hubredeau, and Hoffman can't be shut down. These three will need to play tough, fast hockey to catch the Islanders flat footed. The Panthers have a solid edge in scoring, but in net Bobrovsky has not lived up to his paycheck, Why the Panthers will win? They find out quick Bob is not the answer, put in Dreidger after game 1, and score their way out of this round. Panthers in 5.