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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Islanders (14-11-3) vs. Florida (10-15-5)

(7:00 p.m. ET, TV: FSN NY 2 | Radio: Bloomberg 1130) The Islanders take on the Florida Panthers tonight at the Nassau Coliseum before going on a five-day break.

In two meeting this year, the Islanders have disposed of the Panthers by scores of 4-3 via a shootout and 4-1. The first victory took ten rounds of a shootout before Andy Hilbert capitalized in the final round on October 28. It was the longest shootout in Islanders history.

Their most recent meeting came on November 18 at Florida, when Mike Dunham made 43 saves for the victory and Jason Blake tallied a goal and an assist.

With a goal on Thursday against Montreal, Blake as become the team's leading scorer this season with 29 points. He overtook Alexei Yashin, who has been hampered with a knee injury. Viktor Kozlov has now earned points in five of six games.

Following the morning skate, head coach Ted Nolan talked about improving the penalty killing. The Islanders have allowed power play goals in each of their previous five games.

"We had a meeting today with our penalty killing unit to get it back in sync," said Nolan. "When we had success, we played together and were doing the little things right. We need to get back to blocking shots and stepping into lanes better."

Florida has won its two most recent games, knocking off Pittsburgh on Tuesday and disposing of Northeast Division leader Buffalo on Thursday by the score of 3-1. Rick Jackman and Stephen Weiss scored third period goals against the Sabres, while Alex Auld only had to stop 17 shots for the victory.

Olli Jokinen leads the Panthers in goals and assists through 30 games. Auld has seen more time in goal than veteran Ed Belfour, but both goaltenders have records below .500. At the morning skate, general manager and head coach said Auld would get the start tonight.

Chris King and Steve Mears have the call on Bloomberg Radio 1130, while Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe can be seen tonight on FSN NY 2.

Click here to find FSN NY 2 in your area.


Tonight, the Islanders wrap up their three-game homestand with a match up against the Florida Panthers. The Islanders have dropped the first two games on the homestand with losses to the Ottawa Senators on December 5 and to the Montreal Canadiens on December 7. Following tonight's game, the Islanders next home game is on December 16 versus Atlanta.

October 4-1-2
November 3-3-0
December 0-2-0

Totals 7-6-2

31 points, 3rd place, Atlantic Division
Florida - 25 points, 5th place, Southeast Division

Jason Blake, 15 goals, 29 points; Alexei Yashin, 18 assists; Brendan Witt, 47 PIM.
Florida Olli Jokinen, 13 goals, 16 assists, 29 points; Gary Roberts, 47 PIM.

- Power play: 16.5 percent. Penalty killing: 79.4 percent.
Florida - Power play: 21.2 percent. Penalty killing: 81.4 percent.

Rick DiPietro (11-8-1, 2.73 GAA, .914 SV%); Mike Dunham (3-3-2, 2.70, .921).
Florida Alex Auld (6-9-3, 3.01, .902); Ed Belfour (4-6-2, 2.94, .896).

2006-07 SERIES:
Islanders 2-0-0

7-6-2 at home
Florida 3-8-4 on the road

1   Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro

3   Tom Poti 
4   Joel Bouchard
6   Sean Hill
8   Bruno Gervais
24 Radek Martinek
32 Brendan Witt
77 Alexei Zhitnik

10 Richard Park 
11 Andy Hilbert
12 Chris Simon
16 Mike York
17 Shawn Bates
18 Mike Sillinger
25 Viktor Kozlov
33 Eric Boguniecki
45 Arron Asham
55 Jason Blake
57 Blake Comeau
81 Miroslav Satan


35 Alex Auld
20 Ed Belfour

2   Branislav Mezei
4   Jay Bouwmeester
5   Bryan Allen
7   Steve Montador
8   Joel Kwiatkowski
24 Ruslan Salei
26 Mike Van Ryan 
55 Ric Jackman

9   Stephen Weiss
10 Gary Roberts
11 Gregory Campbell
12 Olli Jokinen
15 Jozef Stumpel
16 Nathan Horton
18 Ville Peltonen
23 Martin Gelinas
25 Joe Nieuwendyk 
50 Drew Larman
51 Rob Globke
77 Chris Gratton
85 Rostislav Olesz  

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