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Christian’s Daily Links: Playoff Hockey is Finally Here!

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Islanders and Panthers shake hands in 2016

There are no more tuneup games. The big dance is finally here.

The Islanders begin their chase for the Stanley Cup today at 4 pm against the Florida Panthers. It won’t be an easy series, but the Islanders can make it through the qualifying round.

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To do that the team will need its X-factors to come through for them. I highlighted three here for the Islanders and Panthers.

The rest of the area has gotten into the hockey spirit as well. The Empire State Building was lit up in Islanders orange and blue last night in honor of the team’s game today.

Hockey Now

The Florida Panthers will need to play with urgency if they hope to beat the Isles in Game 1. (Florida Hockey Now)

Sidney Crosby called athletes “role models, first and foremost” when discussing social change. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

Jack Studnicka skated with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk in the Boston Bruins exhibition game on Thursday. His effort impressed head coach Bruce Cassidy. (Boston Hockey Now)

The Colorado Avalanche begin their Qualifying Round series on Sunday at 4:30 pm. Adrian Date has some news and notes from Friday’s practice. (Colorado Hockey Now)

A look at how Fredrik Handemark will help the San Jose Sharks going forward. (San Jose Hockey Now)

Around the Island

Andrew Gross looks at three questions facing the Islanders heading into Game 1. (Newsday)

Greg Joyce from the New York Post breaks down the Panthers-Islanders series. (NY Post)

Arthur Staple spoke with several hockey people to scout the Islanders and Panthers. (The Athletic)

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