Series (Game 2 of 4)

Florida leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 14th
Game 2: Monday, December 14th
Game 3: Thursday, January 21st
Game 4: Sunday, January 31st

Panthers 7

(13-14-7, 33 pts)

Islanders 1

(12-14-7, 31 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 14, 2009

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 T
FLA 1 2 47
NYI 0 1 01

N. Horton (Panthers - RW): Goals: 3, Assists: 1

T. Vokoun (Panthers - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .968

S. Weiss (Panthers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Panthers-Islanders Preview


If the Islanders are going to make a serious run at their first playoff appearance in three seasons, they'll likely need to continue capitalizing on a long stretch in the New York metropolitan area.

After getting that stretch off to a positive start, the Islanders look to win consecutive games for the first time in six weeks Monday night when they host the Florida Panthers.

The Islanders (12-13-7) are tied with the Panthers (12-14-7) for 10th in the Eastern Conference, two points out of the eighth and final playoff position. New York has a chance to improve that position with its key stretch at home.

The Islanders are in the midst of a 10-game stretch that includes eight at Nassau Coliseum, and the two road games are against the New York Rangers. They won't leave the state until a visit to Ottawa on New Year's Eve, and they've played 20 of their first 31 on the road, going 5-10-5 including a 5-4 shootout defeat at Florida on Nov. 14.

New York started this 10-game stretch in strong fashion Saturday, beating Boston 3-2 as center Frans Neilsen clinched the victory 24 seconds into overtime.

"It could be our season right now," said Nielsen, who snapped a 15-game goal drought. "We've got to get back into this playoff race now. It's huge. We've got to be strong at home if we want to play longer than mid-April."

The Islanders haven't won consecutive games since a four-game winning streak from Oct. 28-Nov. 2, but they're 7-3-2 at home after winning six of seven there.

New York is 9-2-1 in its last 12 home meetings with Florida, winning the last two.

The Panthers are playing their eighth game in 13 days, and looking for a split of their four-game road trip after falling 3-2 in overtime at Pittsburgh. Tomas Vokoun allowed the winning goal to Evgeni Malkin 37 seconds into the extra session after center Stephen Weiss helped the Panthers earn a point by tying the game at 2 early in the third period.

"We didn't win, but we played an awful good third period for back-to-back nights and for the schedule we have had," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I was really proud of our effort. We had to dig deep with 20 minutes to go to find a way to get into overtime and we did that. We didn't win but it was a gritty effort."

Florida has earned at least one point in five of seven games, but won only one of six while going 1-0-3 in games that have gone beyond regulation.

Weiss has been key of late, getting seven goals and five assists over the last 10 games. His 14 goals lead the Panthers, while his 27 points are second, one back of Nathan Horton.

Weiss had a goal and an assist in the last meeting with the Islanders, but he has two goals and three assists in 10 games at Nassau Coliseum.