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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, March 2nd (All times Eastern)

Florida Panthers (22-31-7) at New York Islanders (23-31-8), 3 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Both the Florida Panthers and New York Islanders will be looking to stay out of the penalty box as they square off on Sunday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum.

The Panthers and Islanders both suffered losses on Saturday and were plagued by issues on special teams.

Florida dropped a 6-3 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets, going 0-for-4 on the man advantage while giving up three power-play goals and a short-handed tally.

The Blue Jackets' goal while down a man came with 10 seconds left in the second period and with the score tied at 3-3.

Shawn Matthias and Nick Bjugstad each posted a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who have lost their last four games as well as seven of the past eight.

Scott Clemmensen yielded four goals on 35 shots as Columbus also netted a pair of empty-net goals.

"The special teams weren't very good today," said Bjugstad. "This was a tough one here today, but the game was a lot closer than what the score showed."

Tim Thomas is likely to start today for the Panthers in net. He is 11-6-1 with a 2.00 goals against average in 18 meetings with the Islanders.

New York, meanwhile, was routed 6-1 by the New Jersey Devils, who scored four times on the power play.

Evgeni Nabokov stopped 14-of-19 shots before being pulled from the game. Anders Nilsson, who was recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League prior to the game, turned aside 15-of-16 shots in the third period.

"I thought we came out of the first in really good shape," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. "We were structured, we were doing the right things, we didn't give them any chances. We didn't respond after the power-play goals and if you give up four in a game, you're not going to win."

Kyle Okposo scored the lone goal for the Islanders, who failed to build off Thursday's overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs and lost for the eighth time in 10 games.

Obviously frustrated, the game got a bit chippy towards the end. Travis Hamonic matched an Islanders franchise record for the most penalty minutes in a single period with 32. That included instigating a fight in the final five minutes of the contest, an action that netted him an automatic one-game suspension as well as a $10,000 fine for Capuano.

Hamonic will sit out today as the Isles end a string of five straight at home. They head out west for four games in a row starting on Tuesday.

The Islanders won all three of their meetings with the Panthers last season, but dropped a 4-2 decision in Florida on Jan. 14 in the first of three encounters this campaign.

03/02 10:24:18 ET


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