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Panthers-Islanders Preview

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The New York Islanders look to avoid their first three-game slide since the first three games of the season when they host the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

New York (14-11-3) committed some careless penalties in a 4-2 loss to Montreal on Thursday. The Islanders were whistled twice for too many men on the ice among their six penalties.

"All those penalties were hurtful to our team," New York coach Ted Nolan said. "We have to learn some math - we can't have six skaters on the ice."

The Islanders have scored just four goals in back-to-back losses after managing 12 in winning their previous two games to briefly take over the lead in the Atlantic Division. They've lost three straight at home entering the finale of this three-game homestand.

New York is without injured forwards Alexei Yashin and Trent Hunter.

"I don't know if the guys weren't ready or what," Islanders right wing Arron Asham said. "We're all professionals here, and we have to play all 60 minutes if we want to win the game. It seems like the last few games, we haven't been putting out the effort. We're making bad plays and taking a lot of penalties, and you can't win games if you're in the box all the time."

Viktor Kozlov hasn't scored in the last two games after scoring six times in the previous two contests. Kozlov hasn't registered a point in two games this season against Florida (10-15-5), the team he played parts of seven seasons for from 1997-04.

New York is 2-0 against Florida this season, getting contributions from each of its goaltenders. Starter Rick DiPietro stopped nine of the Panthers' 10 attempts in the shootout of a 4-3 victory on Oct. 28, and backup Mike Dunham made 43 saves to lead the Islanders to a 4-1 win on Nov. 18.

Florida has dropped six of its last seven visits to Nassau Coliseum, although this season's loss was in a shootout. The Panthers haven't scored more than three goals in any of those games.

Leading scorer Olli Jokinen has scored in a season-high three straight games for Florida, which is trying to win three straight for the first time in 2006-07. Jokinen scored on the power play and Ric Jackman added the go-ahead goal in the third period of a 3-1 victory over Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo on Thursday.

"Everybody can be proud of their efforts tonight and the way we played," Jokinen said. "We're going to keep working hard and try to get better every day."

Florida has the second-fewest point total in the East and the worst road record at 3-8-4.

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