The New York Islanders were 3-0-0 against the Florida Panthers this season, but forward Brock Nelson said that won't matter when they play one another in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
"I don't think you can use that as an advantage or a disadvantage," Nelson told "MSG 150 At Home" on July 3. "I think everybody now is going in with the opportunity and the mindset that they have a chance and they're given a shot If you're the 1 seed through the 12 seed, everybody's got that same belief that they can make a run, especially in a time like this where you go into a best-of-5, anything can happen.
"You get a hot goalie right away, you can kind of run away with that, feed off that. The team that's able to get that and use that to their advantage mentally is going to have quite a big gap in terms of advantages."
The Islanders (35-23-10, .588 points percentage) enter the qualifiers as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and will play the No. 10 seed Panthers (35-26-8, .565) in one of eight best-of-5 series. The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the loser will have a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery.
Provided health and safety conditions allow and the NHL and NHL Players' Association reach an agreement on Phases 3 and 4 of the Return to Play Plan, training camps will open July 10. A start date for the qualifiers and hub cities -- one for the 12 participating Eastern Conference teams, one for the 12 Western Conference teams -- have not been determined.