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Panthers wrap up road schedule vs. Islanders

by Brian Compton

PANTHERS (27-41-8) at ISLANDERS (29-35-10)


Last 10: Florida 3-6-1; New York 5-3-2

Season series: This is the third and final game between the Florida Panthers and New York Islanders. Florida is going for a sweep of the Islanders; they've outscored New York 9-5 in two victories.

Big story: The Panthers wrap up a brief two-game road trip with hopes of putting an end to a three-game losing streak, during which time they've been outscored 13-4. New York will be looking to extend its four-game point streak; the Islanders are 3-0-1 over that span.

Team Scope:

Panthers: The woes continued for Florida on Monday night, when it suffered a 6-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. The Panthers nearly rallied from a 3-0 deficit, but it wasn't enough to avoid their sixth loss in the past seven games.

Florida will play its final road game of the season Tuesday.

"It's the same thing. We get down, we're not ready, we constantly battle back,'' right wing Brad Boyes told the Miami Herald. "It just doesn't change and that's the frustrating part. Talk is cheap unless you do something about it.''

Islanders: New York returns to action for the first time since Saturday, when it earned a 2-1 shootout win against the Devils at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. With injuries to several key players, the Islanders had 10 rookies in the lineup. New York is expected to have a similar look against the Panthers on Tuesday night.

"We've got some pride. Obviously, we're all pro athletes," right wing Cal Clutterbuck said. "We're all here for a reason, [and] it's not because we enjoy losing. You can see that coming through. You add that to the fact that these kids are getting a good opportunity … they're excited for it and they're working extremely hard. Sometimes, hard work trumps the experience."

Who's hot: Boyes has scored in back-to-back games for Florida. … Islanders center Frans Nielsen has three points (one goal, two assists) in the past four games.

Injury report: The Panthers are expected to be without forwards Jonathan Huberdeau (upper body), Tomas Kopecky (concussion) and Aleksander Barkov (knee), defensemen Tom Gilbert (sports hernia) and Alex Petrovic (upper body) and goalie Roberto Luongo (upper body). … New York is without captain John Tavares (knee), forward Michael Grabner (concussion) and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion). Right wing Kyle Okposo (lower body) is unlikely to play.

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