SUNRISE, Fla. -- Goalie Michal Neuvirth will make his New York Islanders debut Saturday against a Florida Panthers team still affected by the flu.
Panthers defensemen Erik Gudbranson and Willie Mitchell and forward Jaromir Jagr took part in the morning skate after missing the 4-3 shootout loss against the Dallas Stars on Thursday because of flu-like symptoms, but rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad and forward Tomas Kopecky were absent for the same reason.
Ekblad, the first pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, has played in all 65 games.
Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said he wouldn’t know the status of some of his players until 4:30 p.m., 2 1/2 hours before the opening faceoff.
"Every team goes through that sometime during the season," Gallant said. "It's just a bad time for us with the flu. But, hey, we'll get 20 guys in the lineup tonight and I think most of them will be healthy and we'll work hard. You don't make excuses. Every team goes through it."