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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, February 5th (All times eastern)

New York Islanders (16-29-5) at Florida Panthers (24-18-8), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The streaking New York Islanders will take aim at a fifth consecutive victory when they visit the Florida Panthers for tonight's clash at BankAtlantic Center.

Despite winning a season-high four straight games, the Islanders are still last in the NHL with just 37 points on the season. New York has more victories in its last four games than it did in its previous 22 outings (2-17-3).

The Islanders earned one of their wins during this hot streak against these same Panthers, posting a 3-1 home win over Florida this past Saturday. The Isles have won two of three meetings with the Panthers this season, but Florida has still won seven of the last 12 encounters in the series. New York has also dropped four in a row in Sunrise.

New York's most recent win came Tuesday night against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Yann Danis made 29 saves and Mark Streit notched the game-winning goal as the Isles topped Tampa, 3-1, at Nassau Coliseum.

Trent Hunter and Radek Martinek also scored for the Islanders, who have won four in a row for the first time all season. New York last won five straight during a six-game streak from February 12-21.

Rookie forward Kyle Okposo added an assist for the Isles to extend his point streak to five games. The 20-year-old Minnesotan has five goals and one helper during the run.

The Islanders are playing the first of two straight in the Sunshine State and will visit the Lightning on Saturday night. New York is just 6-17-2 as the guest this year and ended a 14-game road losing streak with a win in Atlanta on January 29.

The Panthers have won three of their last four games and are coming off Tuesday's dramatic victory at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. Bryan McCabe's goal with 1:30 remaining in overtime lifted Florida over the Maple Leafs, 4-3.

The long-time Leafs defenseman, who was dealt to the Panthers in the offseason, broke on a 2-on-1 with Nathan Horton during the extra session. McCabe skated down the left wing and blasted a shot from the circle that slithered through Vesa Toskala and crept over the goal line to end the contest.

McCabe reached the 10-goal plateau for the fifth time in his career and for the first time since netting 15 goals in 2006-07 for the Leafs.

Stephen Weiss recorded a goal and two assists for the Panthers, who trailed 3-1 after two periods before rallying for the win. Gregory Campbell and Cory Stillman also scored and Craig Anderson made 31 saves in the victory.

The Panthers are 12-6-5 as the host this year and have won their last two home games.

02/05 10:29:14 ET


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