Preview: Panthers @ Islanders, 12/15/15

Game #31
Florida Panthers (14-12-4 / 32 PTS) @ New York Islanders (18-8-5 / 41 PTS)
Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 – 7:00PM EST
Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY

Projected Line Combinations

11 Huberdeau – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 29 Nelson – 91 Tavares – 21 Okposo
73 Pirri – 21 Trocheck – 18 Smith L2 27 Lee – 51 Nielsen – 12 Bailey
36 Jokinen – 63 Bolland – 48 Shaw L3 86 Kulemin – 21 Grabovski – 16 Bernier
 22 Thornton – 10 Knight – 86 Brickley L4 17 Martin– 53 Czikas – 15 Clutterbuck
5Campbell 33 Mitchell D1 2 Leddy – 3 Hamonic
4 Olsen – 44 Gudbranson D2 44 De Haan – 55 Boychuck
7 Kulikov Ekblad D3 14 Hickey – 28 Zidlicky
1 Luongo – 35 Montoya G 41 Halak – 1 Greiss
MacKenzie, Howden X Strome, Boulton, Pelech, Strait
 Bjugstad, Petrovic, Kampfer, Savard, Hodges INJ

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 9 12 21
2. Jussi Jokinen 6 13 19
3. Vincent Trocheck 8 9 17
4. Jonathan Huberdeau 3 14 17
5. Reilly Smith 8 7 15

New York Islanders

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Kyle Okposo 8 18 26
2. John Tavares 13 10 23
3. Frans Nielsen 12 10 22
4. Brock Nelson 9 8 17
5. Josh Bailey 6 10 16

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 10-11-3 .922 2.34

New York Islanders

Name Record Save % GAA
Jaroslav Halak 9-4-3 .926 2.04

Between the Lines

The Panthers will meet the Islanders for the 2nd time this season since facing each other on November 27th in a game that ended in a historic shootout with each of the first 9 shooters scoring a goal. The Panthers won 3-2 for the first win of their 5-game winning streak, however they’ve gone 1-3 since that streak ended on December 6th. The Islanders have gone 8-0-2 since the game against the Panthers and 4 of their last 5 games have gone past regulation, and their last game was a 4-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils which saw Marek Zidlicky score twice and John Tavares record his 13th goal of the year. The Panthers lost 3-1 against the Bruins on Saturday afternoon and Reilly Smith scored the only goal while Ryan Spooner scored 2 to give Boston the 2 points in the standings.

Derek MacKenzie injured his right leg during the 2nd period and did not return to the game forcing the Panthers to call up center Corban Knight from the Portland Pirates and he is expected to make his Panthers debut on Tuesday. MacKenzie is said to be day-to-day and the injury isn’t as serious as the team thought. Knight practiced Monday on the 4th line with Shawn Thornton and Connor Brickley, although it’s unclear if he’ll play with them on Tuesday. Jaromir Jagr, Aleksander Barkov, Dave Bolland, and Reilly Smith were all absent from Monday’s practice with what is said to be a flu bug that is going around, however GM Dale Tallon said he expects all of them to be fine for Tuesday’s game. Cats on the Prowl learned exclusively on Monday that Nick Bjugstad has been experiencing migraines and could potentially have a concussion which would explain why his status right now is “out indefinitely.” We’ve also heard that Steven Kampfer, who was injured against the Capitals on 12/10, has had diffuiculties straightening his leg and could be out for some time.

Updated 12/15/15:

The Panthers have sent Dave Bolland to the Portland Pirates for a conditioning stint and also recalled Rocco Grimaldi. Jaromir Jagr will not play Tuesday night after missing practice for the 2nd straight day with the flu. Corban Knight will make his Panthers debut, and Rocco Grimaldi and Quinton Howden will draw into the lineup.

Last Game Played

The Panthers faced the Bruins on Saturday afternoon for their 30th game of the season and lost 3-1 in regulation. You can find our recap by clicking here, and the NHL recap can be found below:


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