Florida Panthers Visit New York Islanders: Game 55 Preview

SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 22: Ed Jovanovski #55 of the Florida Panthers checks Frans Nielsen #51 of the New York Islanders out of the crease as Tim Kennedy #8 and Kyle Okposo #21 fight for control of the puck on October 22, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Islanders 4-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

The Panthers try to win their third game in a row for the first time in 2012, today against the New York Islanders in Nassau Coliseum at 3:00 ET

Florida will be visiting the New York Islanders today at the Nassau Coliseum. This is the third of four meetings this season between the two teams, with the Panthers winning the last, 4-2 in Sunrise back in October. Florida has an 12-12-4 road record, while the Islanders are 12-12-5 at home. Florida is in the second game of a two game road trip. They defeated the New Jersey Devils, 3-1 yesterday afternoon on and will return home to play the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday. The Islanders will be playing in the final game of a three game homestand. they dropped a 4-2 matchup on Thursday to the Montreal Canadians and beat the Los Angeles Kings in a shootout yesterday afternoon. They hit the road to play the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

The Panthers beat the Islanders, 4-2 on October 22nd. Kris Versteeg (4), Shawn Matthias (1), Matt Bradley (1) and Tim Kennedy (1) scored for the Cats, while Jacob Markstrom bailed out a struggling Jose Theodore with a perfect third period, making 18 saves for his first career win. Mark Streit (1) and John Tavares (6) each notched power play goals for the Islanders. Evgeny Nabokov allowed three goals on 32 shots in the losing effort. Kevin Dineen spoke about Markstrom after the game, according TO NHL.COM,

"Extremely happy for him to get his first win. He's a real enthusiastic young kid. You run through a lot of kids that you like as people, but this kid can play and I think he put a real exclamation point on that tonight."

Islanders @ Panthers 10/22/11 (via NHLVideo)

Florida topped the New Jersey Devils, 3-1 yesterday in Newark. Ex-Panthers Steve Bernier opened the scoring with his first goal of the season just under two minutes into the first, beating Clemmensen between the pads. Clemmensen then proceeded to stop everything else the Devils threw at him, earning the victory by stopping 27 of 28 shots, making him 10-4-5 on the season. Sean Bergenheim (11) scored a power play goal in the first, Kris Versteeg (21) added the game winner in the second, and Mikael Samuelsson (7) capped it with an empty netter near the end of regulation. Martin Brodeur allowed two goals on 19 Florida shots. Clemmensen talked to the media after the game, according to NHL.COM,

"A game like this late in the year is better than a game like this earlier in the year. For us to do it here is good. It's a road win; good for us."

The Islanders won in a shootout at home yesterday, 2-1 over the Los Angeles Kings. Michael Grabner (15) scored for New York in the first, and Andrei Loktionov (1) notched the equalizer in the second. Mark Streit (5) scored the game winner in the extra frame. Evgeny Nabokov collected the victory by stopping 34 of 35 shots. Jonathan Quick allowed two goals on 25 shots but took the loss for the Kings. Mark Streit spoke about his game winner after the game, according to NHL.COM,

I just came off the bench and Matt Moulson was standing at the red line. He gave me the puck, I just skated toward four of their guys and tried to spread them. I made a little move, cut back and all of a sudden I was in front of the goalie and decided to score. It’s one I’m going to remember.

Season Series: 2-0-0

All-Time Series: 38-24-14

Game Time: 3:00 ET

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Standings:

Florida Panthers: 26-17-11, 63 points, first Southeast Division, third Eastern Conference, 13th NHL, on pace for 96 points. Last five: W-L-L-W-W Playoff Chances: 83.1%

New York Islanders: 23-23-8, 54 points, fifth Atlantic Division, 11th Eastern Conference, 23rd NHL, on pace for 82 points. Last five: W-O-W-L-W Playoff Chances: 4.2%

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