PANTHERS (38-21-9) at ISLANDERS (37-21-8)
TV: 7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, FS-F, MSG+, NHL.TV
NEW YORK -- New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan has missed eight of the past 11 games because of a lower-body injury, but he'll be back in the lineup against the Florida Panthers at Barclays Center on Monday.
"Anxious. I'm excited," said de Haan, who missed the past four games. "It hasn't been ideal, but the training staff's been good and they've been understanding, and so have the coaches. Sometimes this stuff takes a little longer to heal up. It wasn't really a problem, it was just kind of being cautious. We're in a good position right now and they want me to be healthy for the playoffs."
Paired with Travis Hamonic, de Haan has been a reliable defenseman for New York this season, averaging 20:47 of ice time per game. He has two goals, eight assists and a plus-7 rating.
"I think it's always tough to go back in when you've missed a lot of time, especially the pace of the games now with the playoff (style) hockey," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "I just think that for his partner, it's good too. I think him and Travis have played really well together against other teams' top lines. From that point, I think it's going to help Cal quite a bit having Travis there on the right side."
Injures have sidetracked de Haan in the past; he played 65 games last season and 51 in 2013-14. But he said he won't be thinking about his latest setback when the puck drops Monday.
"I think I'll be OK. It's not like I've missed six months or anything," de Haan said. "I'd like to think this stuff kind of comes naturally after playing hockey for 20-some years in my life. I'm looking forward to it. It [stinks] being out, but it'll be fun."
Florida is opening a three-game road trip with hopes of extending its three-game point streak (2-0-1). The Panthers, who will play six of their next seven games on the road, are one point behind the Boston Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division.
The Panthers have won their past four games against the Islanders.
"The Islanders are one of the better teams in the League, in my opinion," Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. "They're a fast team and a hard-working team. We played them well here the last time we were here, might have caught them not playing their best game obviously and we took a good win. We're hoping the same thing tonight, but they're a great hockey team and it's going to be a good battle I'm expecting."
Here are the projected lineups:
Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Jaromir Jagr
Jussi Jokinen - Vincent Trocheck - Reilly Smith
Jiri Hudler - Nick Bjugstad - Logan Shaw
Garrett Wilson - Quinton Howden - Shawn Thornton
Dmitry Kulikov - Aaron Ekblad
Brian Campbell - Erik Gudbranson
Jakub Kindl - Alex Petrovic
Injured: Teddy Purcell (groin), Derek MacKenzie (foot), Willie Mitchell (upper body), Dave Bolland (lower body)
Scratched: Steven Kampfer
Josh Bailey - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo
Nikolay Kulemin - Frans Nielsen - Ryan Strome
Shane Prince - Brock Nelson - Anders Lee
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey - Ryan Pulock
Injured: Jaroslav Halak (lower body), Marek Zidlicky (upper body)
Scratched: Steve Bernier, Eric Boulton, Mikhail Grabovski, Brian Strait
Status report: Purcell skated Monday but will miss his fourth straight game. "He's had some good practices the last few days. We just want to make sure [he's ready]," Gallant said. "When he says he feels real good, we'll put him in, but we want to make sure." MacKenzie is out after injuring his foot while blocking a shot against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Gallant said MacKenzie is day-to-day. … Grabovski (upper body) was activated off injured reserve but will not play. "We want to get him a few more days. I think he's coming along," Capuano said. Greiss will make his third straight start. Capuano said he's undecided if he will turn to Greiss again at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday or if Berube would make his first start since Feb. 2.
Who's hot: Jagr (two goals, three assists), Huberdeau (two goals, three assists), Smith (two goals, two assists) and Trocheck (one goal, five assists) have three-game point streaks. Jokinen is on a 10-game point streak (two goals, 10 assists). Barkov has two goals in his past three games. … Tavares has scored in three straight games and has a four-game point streak.