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 Moulson – John Tavares – Brad Boyes
Josh Bailey – Frans Nielsen – Kyle Okposo
Michael Grabner – Keith Aucoin – Colin McDonald
Jesse Joensuu – Casey Cizikas – Matt Martin
Mark Streit – Radek Martinek
Andrew MacDonald – Travis Hamonic
Lubomir Visnovsky – Thomas Hickey
Scratched: C Marty Reasoner, LW/C Anders Lee, LW Eric Boulton, D Matt Carkner, D Brian Strait, D Joe Finley
Tomas Fleischmann – Marcel Goc – Tomas Kopecky
Jonathan Huberdeau – Drew Shore – Peter Mueller
Scottie Upshall – Nick Bjugstad – Jack Skille
Quinton Howden – Shawn Matthias – George Parros
Brian Campbell – Tyson Strachan
Dmitry Kulikov – Mike Weaver
TJ Brennan – Erik Gudbranson
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)