Preview: Panthers @ Islanders, 3/14/16

Game #69
Florida Panthers (38-21-9 / 85 PTS) @ New York Islanders (37-21-8 / 82 PTS)
Monday, March 14th, 2016 – 7:00PM EST
Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY

Between the Lines

The Panthers and Islanders will meet for the 3rd time this season and for the second time in New York on Monday night. Florida is coming off a 5-4 shootout victory on Saturday night against the Philadelphia Flyers which included a 2-goal performance by Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen extending his point streak to 10 games. Jonathan Huberdeau scored the first goal of the game while Aleksander Barkov scored a tying goal in the 3rd period in addition to the game-deciding goal in the shootout.

Teddy Purcell missed his 3rd straight game with a groin injury, although Kyle Rau was reassigned to the Portland Pirates of the AHL on Monday, so that could mean Purcell is ready to return to the lineup. Willie Mitchell remains out of the lineup on a week-to-week basis, and while he will not travel with the team on the road trip, he will be skating all week back at home.

The Islanders are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Bruins on Saturday in which John Tavares scored the lone New York goal. Thomas Greiss, who has recently taken over the starting goaltender duties after Jaroslav Halak suffered an injury that will sideline him for 6 to 8 weeks, made 28 saves on 31 shots.

The two teams last played on December 15th when the Panthers defeated the Islanders 5-1 for the first of what would eventually be 12 consecutive wins. Reilly Smith, Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad, Vincent Trocheck, and Jonathan Huberdeau each scored in the game.

Some fun facts…

Aaron Ekblad needs one more goal at even strength to set a franchise record for the most scored by a defenseman in a single season (12). He also needs 3 more goals to set a franchise record for the most goals overall by a defenseman in a single season (17). Brian Campbell is one game away from tying Gregory Campbell for 14th place on the franchise all-time games played list (363).

Update 3/14: MacKenzie is out of the lineup after blocking a shot with his foot on Saturday. Purcell will miss his 4th straight game, although he’s expected to return on Tuesday against Montreal.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
11 Huberdeau – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 12 Bailey – 91 Tavares – 21 Okposo
36 Jokinen – 21 Trocheck – 18 Smith L2 86 Kulemin – 51 Neilsen – 18 Strome
48 Howden – 27 Bjugstad – 24 Hudler L3 11 Prince – 29 Nelson – 27 Lee
28 Wilson – 48 Shaw – 22 Thornton L4 17 Martin – 53 Czikas – 15 Clutterbuck
Kulikov – 5 Ekblad D1 2 Leddy – 55 Boychuk
51 Campbell – 44 Gudbranson D2 14 Hickey – 3 Hamonic
46 Kindl – 6 Petrovic D3 37 Strait – 6 Pulock
Luongo – 35 Montoya G 1 Greiss – 30 Berube
Purcell, MacKenzie, Kampfer X Halak, Bernier, Zidlicky, De Haan, Pelech, Boulton
Mitchell, Bolland INJ

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 23 30 53
2. Jussi Jokinen 13 37 50
3. Vincent Trocheck 20 26 46
4. Jonathan Huberdeau 13 32 45
5. Reilly Smith 23 20 43

New York Islanders

Player Goals Assists Points
1. John Tavares 26 28 54
2. Kyle Okposo 17 36 53
3. Frans Nielsen 19 25 44
4. Nick Leddy 5 31 36
5. Brock Nelson 22 12 34

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 29-16-6 .921 2.35

New York Islanders

Name Record Save % GAA
Thomas Greiss 18-7-4 .928 2.26
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