NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, December 31st
(All times eastern)
Florida Panthers (16-15-5) at New York Islanders (11-22-4), 2 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Florida Panthers will try to avoid a fourth consecutive
loss when they visit the lowly New York Islanders for this afternoon's
encounter at Nassau Coliseum.
The Panthers have lost three in a row on the heels of back-to-back wins and
have surrendered a total of 15 goals during the losing streak.
Florida's slide began with a home-and-home sweep at the hands of the rival
Tampa Bay Lightning and the Panthers followed with Monday's loss to visiting
Montreal. Maxim Lapierre notched the first hat trick of his career, propelling
the Canadiens to the 5-2 win over the Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.
Michael Frolik and David Booth each had a goal for the Panthers, who have
dropped five of seven games overall.
Craig Anderson allowed four goals on 20 shots before he was yanked early in
the third period. Tomas Vokoun made eight saves the rest of the way.
Today marks the first of four straight on the road for the Panthers, who are
just 8-10-2 as the visiting team this season. Florida has lost three straight
road games after winning its previous five tilts as the guest.
The Islanders, meanwhile, have lost two straight and are just 1-10-2 in
December. New York is also dead last in the NHL with just 26 points on the
The Isles visited their crosstown rivals on Monday, but were handed a 5-4 loss
by the Rangers. Nigel Dawes registered the game-winning score as the Rangers
used a four-goal third period to slip by the Islanders at Madison Square
Mike Comrie picked up a goal and a helper for the Islanders. Mike Sillinger,
Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau added tallies and Joey McDonald took the loss
despite making 32 stops.
McDonald was starting in place of Rick DiPietro, who injured his groin in
warmups. DiPietro has played just one game since returning from a 27-game
absence due to knee surgery and is considered day-to-day.
On the milestone front, Islanders forward Doug Weight is just two points shy
of 1,000 for his career. He has been held without a point in two straight
New York has lost three of its last four home tests and is 6-9-2 as the host
Florida beat the Islanders, 2-0, in the Sunshine State back on October 18 to
earn its sixth straight victory in this series. The Panthers have come out on
top in their last two trips to Long Island, but have seven losses in their
last 10 stops at Nassau Coliseum overall.
12/31 10:47:42 ET