Preview: Islanders Host Panthers in Key Matchup

The New York Islanders will host the Florida Panthers for the only time this season in a rematch of last season’s opening-round playoff series. The Islanders look to end a two-game losing streak tonight. They will turn to Thomas Greiss in goal. Greiss has played well of late, especially since the Isles sent Jaroslav Halak down to Bridgeport after he cleared waivers.

The Panthers will go with veteran goalie Roberto Luongo in net. Luongo is coming off a 3-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils on Monday which moved him into fifth place on the NHL’s all-time victory list for goalies with 448.

Despite their two-game losing streak, the Islanders have earned a point in six of their last seven games (4-1-2).

The Panthers are in the thick of the playoff race in the Atlantic Division race. They are just two points out of third place entering tonight’s game despite dealing with a rash of injuries to key players.

Florida Panthers at New York Islanders

Barclays Center – 7:00 PM EST

Broadcast Channels: MSG-Plus; Fox Sports Florida

2016-17 Season Series: November 12, 2016, Panthers 3, Islanders 2 (OT)

New York Islanders – 15-15-8 – 38 points

Home Record: 11-7-4

Hot Players: Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss

Key Injuries; Travis Hamonic

Projected Lines:


Anders Lee – John Tavares – Josh Bailey

Shane Prince – Brock Nelson – Ryan Strome

Andrew Ladd – Alan Quine – Jason Chimera

Nikolay Kulemin – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck


Nick Leddy – Adam Pelech

Thomas Hickey – Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan – Dennis Seidenberg

Starting Goaltender:

Thomas Greiss


Florida Panthers – 18-16-8 – 44 points

Road Record: 8-8-5

Hot Players: Jonathan Marchessault, Vincent Trocheck

Key Injuries: Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Alex Petrovic

Projected Lines:


Colton Sceviour – Vincent Trocheck – Jaromir Jagr

Jonathan Marchessault – Jussi Jokinen – Reilly Smith

Derek MacKenzie – Michael Sgarbossa – Jared McCann

Paul Thompson – Denis Malgin – Shawn Thornton


Keith Yandle – Jason Demers

Michael Matheson – Aaron Ekblad

Mark Pysyk – Jakub Kindl

Starting Goalie:

Roberto Luongo

(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Game Notes

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The Islanders will be without defenseman Travis Hamonic who is listed as day-t0-day after suffering an injury against Arizona. Adam Pelech returns to the lineup and will be paired with Nick Leddy for the Islanders. This will be Pelech’s first game since November 28.

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Andrew Ladd has been successful against the Panthers over the course of his career. Ladd has 11 goals and 27 points against the Panthers. Meanwhile, Jaromir Jagr has been an Islander killer over the course of his Hall of Fame career. In 110 career games against the Isles, Jagr has scored 61 goals and 154 points. Both are career best marks for Jagr.

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Getting an early jump is important for both teams tonight. The Islanders are 0-8-2 when trailing after the first period this season while the Panthers are just 3-9-4 when falling behind after 20 minutes.

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Scoring three goals or more is a key for the Islanders. The Isles are 14-3-2 when scoring at least three goals in a game this season. When they score two goals or fewer, the Islanders are just 1-12-6. The Islanders scored just one goal in each of their last two contests and lost both by 2-1 scores.

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Hall of Fame broadcaster Jiggs McDonald will be working the game tonight for the Islanders. McDonald has worked for both the Islanders and Panthers and began his NHL broadcasting career 50 years ago with the Los Angeles Kings. McDonald was the Islanders television play-by-play man for the Islanders Stanley Cup wins in 1981, 1982 and 1983. This will be the last time he fills in on an Islanders broadcast.

This is the first game of a home-and-home series between the Islanders and Panthers. It is also the start of a key stretch of games for the Isles against teams they need to pass to get back into the playoff race. After the two games against Florida, the Isles face Carolina and Boston.