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Islanders understand danger that awaits in Panthers

by Brian Compton

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- With six games remaining on the regular-season schedule, the New York Islanders will view each match as a must-win situation.

But they know they really can't afford to let two points slip away Tuesday, when the Islanders (21-16-5, seventh place in Eastern Conference) face the Florida Panthers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

With 32 points, Florida (13-22-6) resides in last place in the Eastern Conference and will be looking to avoid a three-game losing streak. The Panthers have been outscored 10-3 in back-to-back losses to the Winnipeg Jets and Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

"I know what that feels like the last couple of years," Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic said of the Panthers, a team that is simply playing out the remainder of its schedule. "Those are dangerous teams sometimes. They want to win these games and they want to mess with someone else's season. We have to be prepared."

Here are the projected lineups:


Matt MoulsonJohn TavaresBrad Boyes

Josh BaileyFrans NielsenKyle Okposo

Michael GrabnerKeith AucoinColin McDonald

Jesse JoensuuCasey CizikasMatt Martin

Mark StreitRadek Martinek

Andrew MacDonaldTravis Hamonic

Lubomir VisnovskyThomas Hickey

Evgeni Nabokov

Kevin Poulin

Scratched: C Marty Reasoner, LW/C Anders Lee, LW Eric Boulton, D Matt Carkner, D Brian Strait, D Joe Finley


Tomas FleischmannMarcel GocTomas Kopecky

Jonathan HuberdeauDrew ShorePeter Mueller

Scottie UpshallNick BjugstadJack Skille

Quinton HowdenShawn MatthiasGeorge Parros

Brian CampbellTyson Strachan

Dmitry KulikovMike Weaver

TJ BrennanErik Gudbranson

Jacob Markstrom

Scott Clemmensen

Scratched: C Greg Rallo

Injured: D Ed Jovanovski (hip), D Filip Kuba (lower body), C Stephen Weiss (wrist), RW Kris Versteeg (knee), G Jose Theodore (lower body), LW Eric Selleck (upper body), LW Sean Bergenheim (lower body)


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