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Preview: Islanders at Panthers

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (11-8-3) VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS (8-9-4)

7:30 P.M. BB&T CENTER, MSG+2, CHANNEL FINDERWNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM

FOUR THINGS:



1. Strome Recalled: Ryan Strome was recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Thanksgiving Day after being loaned to the Sound Tigers on Nov. 6, missing the Islanders’ last eight games. He had four points (2G, 2A) in eight games with the Sound Tigers, most recently scoring in Wednesday’s Sound Tigers’ loss to the Albany Devils. Strome has five points (1G, 4A) in 12 NHL games this season. He started the season skating on the Islanders top line with John Tavares. 


2. Flyin’ Over Philly: The Islanders beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 on Wednesday, grinding out a physical win against their division rivals. Head coach Jack Capuano praised his players for their defensive play, as the Islanders held the Flyers to 10 shots in the final two periods and for stepping up to Philadelphia’s physical challenge, including Nick Leddy, who dropped the gloves for his first NHL fight. Kyle Okposo said it wasn’t the prettiest win of the season, but was the type of win the Islanders needed after dropping two straight to the Montreal Canadiens. Okposo added the Islanders still need to generate more offense, so Strome’s recall – Strome had 50 points last season – could help bolster the attack.  

3. Special Teams: The Islanders penalty kill scored a shorthanded goal Wednesday, but also conceded a power-play goal for the ninth time in 27 attempts. "It was better," Capuano said of the PK. "We did some good things; we still struggled . . . [but that goal] gave us a little bit of a lift." 

The Panthers boast the league’s fourth-ranked power play (22.1%), but 25th ranked penalty kill (76.5%), offering the Islanders a chance to kick-start their power play, which has two goals in the Isles last 11 games (2-for-35).

4. Panthers: The Panthers have had a tough November, going 3-5-2 in 10 games this month and are 0-2-1 since a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 16. 

Jaromir Jagr continues to be a modern marvel, as the 43-year-old leads the Panthers with 17 points (8G, 9A) in 19 games this season. Playing amongst youth has sparked the 22-year NHL vet, who has 35 points in 39 games since joining the Panthers midway through last season. Jagr is currently riding a four-game point streak (1G, 3A).

While Jagr continues to defy age, 20-year-old Aleksander Barkov (pictured) continues to develop offensively for the Panthers. Barkov has 10 points (6G, 4A) in 11 games this season and is riding a three-game goal streak since returning from a lower-body injury. Barkov had 36 points (16G, 20A) in 71 games in his sophomore season last year. 

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