The NHL returns on Saturday, August 1st, with their qualifying round and round-robin play. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a restart that will feature 24 teams competing for the Stanley Cup. The top four teams in each conference are competing in round-robin play to finalize the top four seeds. The next eight teams are competing in five-game seeded play to earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The New York Islanders and Florida Panthers will face off in Toronto starting Saturday. The Islanders finished the abbreviated regular season with 80 points on a 35-23-10 record, which was good for the 7th seed. The Panthers finished the abbreviated regular season with 78 points on a 35-26-8 record, which was good for the 10th seed.
The Islanders are expected to welcome back defenseman Adam Pelech after a December Achilles injury. They will also likely continue splitting time in goal between Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov. The Islanders won their exhibition game against Rangers 2-1 behind a strong game in goal by Semyon Varlamov, who stopped all 19 shots he faced.
The most notable injury question for the Panthers is MacKenzie Weegar. He was not available for the team’s exhibition game and his status is unclear, according to team reporter Jameson Olive. Tampa Bay shut out Florida in their exhibition game, losing 5-0.
Below is a full rundown of the Islanders-Panthers series and how to watch it. The NBC games are all available at NBCSports.com/live.
Islanders vs. Panthers series info
Saturday, Aug. 1: Panthers vs. Islanders, 4 p.m. | NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN1, TVAS, MSG+, FS-F
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Panthers vs. Islanders, 12 p.m. | NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, TVAS, MSG+, FS-F
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Islanders vs. Panthers, 12 p.m. | NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, TVAS, FS-F, MSG+
Friday, Aug. 7: Islanders vs. Panthers*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Panthers vs. Islanders*