NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 31st (All times eastern)
Florida Panthers (23-17-8) at New York Islanders (14-29-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they welcome the Florida Panthers for tonight's encounter at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders had lost their first eight games in January, but have since notched back-to-back wins. New York's only three-game winning streak this year came from November 13-17.
New York was in action Thursday night in Atlanta and was able to pick up its first road win in over two months. Kyle Okposo notched his first career two- goal game and the Islanders posted a 5-4 decision over the Thrashers.
The Islanders had been mired in a 14-game road losing streak, as the team's last road victory took place on November 24, in Montreal. The road skid ended one loss shy of the franchise record set from January 20-April 1, 1973.
Trent Hunter, Doug Weight and Tim Jackman also scored for the Isles, while Yann Danis made 33 saves in the win for New York.
New York tallied its first four-goal period of the season and its first five- goal game since October 11 against St. Louis.
The Isles are 8-12-3 as the host this season and have lost four of their last five home tests.
The Panthers come into tonight riding a two-game winning streak and are coming off Thursday's decisive victory over visiting Montreal. Tomas Vokoun was sensational between the pipes, stopping 35-of-36 shots, as Florida dominated the Canadiens, 5-1, at the BankAtlantic Center.
Jay Bouwmeester, Stephen Weiss, Richard Zednik, Radek Dvorak, and Michael Frolik tallied to lead the Panthers, who beat Montreal for the first time since a 3-2 victory on December 18, 2007. The win halted a five-game losing streak against the Habs.
Cory Stillman added three assists for Florida, giving him his second three- point game of the season.
Thursday's win marked the end of a four-game homestand for the Panthers, who will now hit the road for two straight games as the visitor. Florida, which will also visit Toronto on Tuesday, is just 11-11-3 away from the Sunshine State this season, but has won two straight and three of its last four road games.
The Panthers and Isles have split a pair of meetings this year, with each club winning a test on home ice. Florida has taken seven of the last 11 matchups, but has dropped four of six and eight of 11 on Long Island.
01/31 10:44:48 ET