There will be plenty of factors that will play into whether the Islanders or Florida Panthers come out on top in the Qualifying Round, which starts on Saturday.
The Islanders addition of Jean-Gabriel Pageau at the deadline and the addition of several previously injured players will be a big boost for them. Florida hopes to see Sergei Bobrovsky return to the form he had in Columbus and hope their success on the man-advantage continues.
Below are three X-factors for the Islanders and Panthers heading into Game 1.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau: The addition of the 27-year-old at the trade deadline will go a long way for the Islanders in the postseason. Pageau was added to help mitigate the loss of Casey Cizikas down the middle, but now with a fully healthy team, Pageau can do even more.
The Islanders have four quality centermen to anchor each line, which allows the team to put out any line in any situation. When Pageau arrived, the pressure was on for him to pick up the slack without Cizikas. He had goals in his first two games as an Islander, but it seemed there was too much put on his plate.
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