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New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers - game preview

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
Team Record: 23-23-8

Last Game: 2-1 W vs LAK
Season Series: 0-2-0 of 4
Team Record: 26-17-11
Last Game: 3-1 SO W @ NJD
Season Series: 2-0-0 of 4
Mark Streit
The Islanders captain has goals in two straight games, including a spectacular backhanded score after taking on four Kings for the OT winner Saturday against Los Angeles. After missing an entire season due to injury, Streit said that he’s starting to feel comfortable on a daily basis again.

Always among the leaders in time on ice, Streit has needed to log even more minutes with key injuries to the d-corps in the last two weeks. In three of his last four games, Streit played upwards of 25 minutes, topping out at 27:07 Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
Tomas Fleischmann
The Panthers top-line left-winger has points in six of his last seven games and is closing in on 200 career points. With an assist in New Jersey, Fleischmann is sitting with 199 and has two assists in two games against the Isles this season.

Fleischmann has fit in nicely with Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss as the trio place first, second and third in Panthers scoring. Through 54 games, Fleischmann has 17 goals, 23 assists for 40 points.
Points in Six of Seven: Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings put the Islanders back on track in their quest to make the playoffs. Before losing 4-2 against Montreal on Thursday night the Isles had points in five straight games. In what was a crucial game against LA, the Islanders responded and are now 4-1-2 in their last seven.

Looking for Sunshine: The Islanders haven’t had a lot of success against teams from the Sunshine State this season. Currently 1-3 against Tampa Bay and Florida, the Islanders need to find ways to beat the Florida clubs, especially considering how close these teams are in the standings. The Panthers are fighting for the division lead, but also for the eighth playoff spot, while the Islanders and Lightning are both trying to make a late push for the playoffs.

Depleted D: With recent injuries to Travis Hamonic, Milan Jurcina (who has since returned) and Dylan Reese, the rest of the Isles D-corp has had to step up their game. Captain Mark Streit and shutdown specialist Andrew MacDonald have seen their roles and ice-time increase. A-Mac played a season high 29:19 against Philadelphia on Tuesday night and the team is 12-6-4 when he leads the team in ice time. Streit has goals in two straight and has played more than 25 minutes in three of his last four.
Tim Kennedy broke open a deadlock at 2 in the third period as the Florida Panthers beat the New York Islanders 4-2 on Oct. 22, 2011. Kennedy scored the game-winner at 4:00 of the third period before Shawn Matthias added an empty-netter for insurance. Matt Bradley and Kris Versteeg also scored for the Panthers while Mark Streit and John Tavares found twine for the Islanders. Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves in his first loss as an Islander while Jacob Markstrom picked up the W for the Panthers.

Click the photo for gallery from last game.
Date of
DiPietro 1/3 Sports hernia/knee swelling 18 10 weeks
Hamonic 2/4 Broken Nose 3 2 weeks
Katic 9/24 Shoulder 53 out indef. (IR)
Mottau 12/30 Concussion 19 No timetbl. (IR)
Reasoner 1/6 Broken hand 16 No timetbl. (IR)
Reese 2/7 MCL Sprain 2 4-6 weeks
Power play: 19.51%
Penalty kill: 84.71%
Home record: 12-12-5
Road record: 11-11-3
Goals For: 130
Goals Against: 155
Power play: 18.69%
Penalty kill: 80.63%
Home record: 14-5-7
Road record: 12-12-4
Goals For: 137
Goals Against: 151

Answer from Saturday's question: On Oct. 12, 1972, the New York Islanders recorded their first win as a franchise with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. What player scored the franchise’s first game-winning-goal? The answer is: Germain Gagnon. Billy Harris scored two goals and took the teams’ first penalty shot, but Gagnon’s goal won the Islanders their first game. 
Check back after media availabilty for lineups.

Panthers Lineups
Forwards: Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg; Bergenheim-Goc-Samuelsson; Santorelli-Matthias-Kopecky; Bradley-Madden-Barch


Campbell-Gudbranson; Garrison-Weaver; Strachan-Ellerby


Mark Streit on his recent play: “I thought that I’m coming around, that I’ve played better. It took me a while to adjust, I was away for a year and a half. The first forty games was kind of a bumpy ride. I had some really good games and then some tougher games. Just not the consistency I was looking for. Lately it’s been way better and I feel more comfortable. I make good plays and join the rush. It’s starting to come back together again.”

Cory Wright contributed to this story

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