NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 16th
(All times Eastern)
Florida Panthers (13-22-6) at New York Islanders (21-16-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders will get one last chance to aid
their playoff chances on home ice when they host the Florida Panthers in
Tuesday's contest at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders, who are holding onto the seventh seed in the East, are playing
their final home test of the regular season on Tuesday before closing their
schedule on a five-game road trip. The club has fared better on the road than
at home this season, going 9-11-3 at the Coliseum and 12-5-2 everywhere else.
New York enters Tuesday with 47 points, one less than Ottawa and one more than
the New York Rangers, who are occupying the conference's final playoff berth.
The Islanders had won three in a row before dropping Saturday's overtime
decision against the Rangers. Dan Girardi scored with 1:49 remaining in OT to
lift the Rangers to a 1-0 victory in the showdown at the Coliseum. Rangers
goaltender Henrik Lundqvist also stopped 29 shots to record his first shutout
of the season for the triumphant visitors.
Evgeni Nabokov finished with 19 saves in the losing effort.
"Guys battled hard tonight. They deserved better, but we'll take the point and
move on," said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano.
The Islanders have gained at least a point in all seven of their games this
month, posting a 5-0-2 mark in April.
On Tuesday, the Isles are facing a Panthers team that is last in the NHL with
32 points and playing out the string.
Florida has dropped two straight and three of its last four games. The
Panthers were dealt a 7-2 loss by Winnipeg on Thursday and then dropped a 3-1
decision Saturday against visiting Pittsburgh. Brenden Morrow recorded two
goals and one assist to lead the Penguins past Florida in its most recent
Scottie Upshall scored and Jacob Markstrom stopped only 19 shots for the
Panthers, who had missed the playoffs for 10 straight seasons before returning
to the postseason tournament last spring.
"Even without their two superstars out of the lineup they're still dangerous,"
said Upshall. "I thought we still gave them a good game and battled hard. It
was a close game tonight."
The Panthers are kicking off a four-game road trip on Monday and are 6-12-1 as
the guest this season.
New York is 2-0 against the Panthers this season and has won three straight
overall in this series.
04/16 10:27:25 ET