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Behind The Numbers

Panthers more than a one-man show

Numbers show Florida a solid team from top to bottom

by Rob Vollman / Correspondent

The Eastern Conference First Round series between the Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders will be an interesting clash of styles, according to the numbers. 

The Islanders are a young, hard-hitting team with its scoring focused around the exceptional John Tavares, and Florida's success is based on spreading out scoring amongst several players, including a handful of outstanding veterans.

Here are five interesting statistics about this series:

1. Veterans leading way for Panthers

Although the Panthers have several young players including Aaron Ekblad and Aleksander Barkov, who are each 20, and Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck, who are each 22, Florida is the second-oldest team in the NHL behind the New York Rangers. That's because of a handful of experienced players who have led the way.

Brian Campbell, 36, led all NHL defensemen with a plus-31. Roberto Luongo, 37, was one of 10 goalies to start 60 games, and his .922 save percentage ranked No. 2 in that group behind Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jaromir Jagr, 44, scored 2.70 points-per 60 minutes at even-strength, the highest rate in the League. 

2. Hits

The Islanders may counter that experience with highly physical play. They had 2,311 hits this season, second in the League behind the Los Angeles Kings (2,495).

Islanders forward Matt Martin led the League with 365 hits and Cal Clutterbuck ranked fourth with 288.

Video: NYI@CBJ: Clutterbuck delivers huge hit on Bourque

3. Power-Play Scoring

Despite their hard-hitting ways, the Islanders were lightly penalized. They allowed 232 power-play opportunities, which was the fourth-fewest in the NHL.

This may negate Florida's ability to draw power plays; the Panthers ranked fourth in the League with 278 power-play opportunities.

Regardless of how many times the Panthers have the man advantage, there may not be a lot of scoring in such situations. The Islanders ranked fourth with a penalty-killing percentage of 84.5 and the Panthers had a power-play percentage of 16.9, which is the second-lowest among playoff teams.

4. Limited Shooting

The Panthers attempted 3,105 shots this season, the second fewest to the New Jersey Devils, who attempted 2,722.

Ekblad led the Panthers with 182 shots, which is the fewest for any team leader. The Panthers have five forwards who took at least 170 shots, which is why their scoring is spread out across multiple forward lines. Florida was the only team with six forwards who had at least 50 points this season.

Video: CAR@FLA: Ekblad nets Panthers' third goal of the 1st

5. Puck Possession

The percentage of time that a team played with the puck is estimated by their share of all shot attempts, and the percentage of faceoffs they took in the offensive zone, relative to the defensive zone. In each regard, the Panthers rate poorly.

The Panthers have a shot-attempt percentage of 48.7, which is the third-lowest among playoff teams, and their zone start percentage of 48.3 is the lowest.

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